Bill Cowee is a poet and short story writer and the co-director of the Western Mountain Writer's Conference. He is also a founding member of the Ash Canyon Poets. His work has appeared in many small presses and was recently included in Desert Wood, an anthology of Nevada poets (University of Nevada Press).
Fear Behind the Curtain
From an uncertain darkness
frightened coyotes whine, pace
in acres of sage and buckbrush
saved from the molten sea
of a running wildfire.
Fearful voices howl, call to young.
A deep-throated cur cries,
(we know not in pain or grief)
cries into night that would be night
but for a glow of red-orange fire
set against curtains hung in smoke.
Wild hunters of the now charred land,
where will you run come daylight?
The den is bare, the trails without cover,
the wind ash-bearing and empty of scent.