By Jeff Burt
People reported sightings of a wolf in Yosemite a few years ago, but no wolves exist in Yosemite. A park ranger reported the sighting as the hunger of people to have wolves in the park. I had the same experience.
I thought of raking the dark road’s gravel
with my tires on the highway in south Yosemite
shaking the weathered wheel in my grip
as the white wolf stood helpless,
eyes like new dimes in my high beams,
two feet on the brink of a cliff
and two feet on the brim of asphalt.
Not listed in the literature of the park,
the wolf did not twitch or scurry.
It stood panting as if pursued
by destiny or men to an evolutionary
end, and tired of both.
I slowed, crossed the double yellow line,
passed one yard away in peace,
the wolf too spent to threaten violence
and I too pleased to ask for it.
Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California with his wife and a July abundance of plums. He has work in Nature Writing, Atticus Review, and Across the Margins, and won the 2016 Consequence Magazine Fiction Prize.
Featured HDR image of Yosemite National Park courtesy of maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com