Traveling Coyote – poem

Relaxing on MAX, Dennis Maxwell/Port of Portland.


They think I am a coyote

But in my trickster nature

I use this disguise

to watch them.

The Red Line MAX


They think I look so


fitting right into the city

smiling when a young hipster passes me

shouldering his messenger bag

earbuds in the ear

tuned to the Creative Pep Talk podcast.


right down to my furry paws


you’d recognize me anywhere



New Mexico.

People say

there’s no more wile

in the wild but there’s

always a coyote.


My writer-friend Liz Kellebrew sent me this photo of a coyote traveling on the Portland MAX light rail, taken back in 2002. They think this coyote came onto the train with a fare checker, and it (the coyote) was eventually captured by Wildlife Services and released in a more coyote-friendly location.

This photo reminded me of one of my favorite poems of all time, Nora Naranjo-Morse’s “A Well-Traveled Coyote” (link below), and it was inspiration for my poem.

If you’ve been to Portland (Oregon), you may want to keep an eye out for coyotes in disguise.  They’re probably doing research on humans.


Relevant links:

A Well-Traveled Coyote, poem by Nora Naranjo-Morse

KNW YR PDX: Light Rail Coyote

The Creative Pep Talk Podcast

31 thoughts on “Traveling Coyote – poem

    1. Thank you, Dahlia! I’m glad that you enjoyed it. I got chills, too, when I re-read it. My favorite line was actually the last one(s) – they say there is no wile in the wild, but there are always coyotes. We have them here in the middle of the city now – they howl at night. Beware our cats! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Kimberlee, thank you for letting me know you enjoyed my post. I love that you live near an urban forest! That is wonderful. Such a great resource for our minds and bodies. We need more of them! Looking forward to reading more about your observations on your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely poem, Therese. It speaks of both disguise and blending, and I think no matter how we fit in where we are, we can just never know who is watching us. I smiled when I read the cool line – how we think we are cool when we feel no one is watching us. It is these moments that we feel we can do anything and get away with it. The times that I want to simply blend in are usually early in the morning on the way to work. On the train, I prefer anyone not talk to me or bother me, just want to get to work in peace.

    And I would never imagine to see a coyote on board like your friend did. That was a lucky snap. It actually closely resembles a wolf 🙂 This ones looks a bit lost and I hope the wildlife rescue took good care of it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mabel, I love your connection of disguise and blending. On the train is a perfect place for this. I think this photo evokes a familiar feeling – this seems like the pose of a family pet, not a wild animal. Just trying to look small and fit in. Don’t we all feel that way at times? 🙂


      1. I agree. The coyote does not look wild but looks rather homely. In fact, it looks very comfortable sitting on the train, like how a dog might. It probably didn’t disturb anyone either, and nobody disturbed it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is both cool and profound. You’re such an amazing writer, truly. I love it. I’d like to be the Coyote. 🙂 I do like to watch people. We can gather a lot of material for writing from people-watching.

    Liked by 1 person

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