The sight of one crossing my yard—all copper-zinc—
in broad daylight, is etched on my eye.
It’s mostly at night, though, when they snag

a hapless deer, their voices are raised on high.
No sooner do they corner a woodchuck or raccoon
than their cover of “Ghost Riders in the Sky”

resounds from here to Oregon.
The version I myself favor, to kick off a road trip,
is Frankie Laine’s of 1963. Others reckon

Johnny Cash to be preeminent. Still others heap
praise on Elvis Presley and Burl Ives.
This midnight mix of yodels and yippie-yi-oohs

may derive
not from a whole pack but a single pair.
In Alaska a hunter’s been known to set out knives

covered in ice-blood on which coywolves will pare
themselves down to the bone.
Though this may be no more than a brouhaha

over competing claims to a garbage bin
that’ll set off the neighbor’s motion
detector camera, we hear it as both a paean

of praise from a mission
featuring a mosaic
of Saint Francis and the wolf and a muezzin’s

call to prayer from an unlikely mosque.
Frankie Laine did invite me once to cowrite a song
but I stupidly declined because I can’t read music.