A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Only the hard things remain. That bucket
with the bottom rusted out won’t do.
That old horse will – see how he
still runs toward the barn when he hears
the feed rattle into his bucket.
I know my teeth, the ones that are left.
Old Druids graying. I talk to them.
They speak of the caves in the icebergs
no one ever sees. I never thought
this would happen to me–everyone else
crossed the bridge over into that country
where folks wear out down to the ghost
and fade. Not me, no, I was going to go
my own way. The tangled trail along the fence
and the scent of the wild grapes always.
Love waiting in ambush somewhere.
This morning on the way out I found
a robin in the snow. Could not fly,
the dog sniffing at it. I tried to lift him
from underneath. He flew a few feet
and fell. Get up, I said.
When I come back from the barn
I don’t want you to be there.
Broke the ice in the water buckets,
Put up some hay. The Belgian
shoved his warm mug into my cheek
and sniffed. I think I’ll get through
this day. When I went outside again
the robin was gone. I said to the dog,
did you eat him? He said no,
and why do you always assume such things.
I said, I’m going to get through this day
all the way and tonight when I turn off the light
next to my bed, I’ll dread a little the journey out.
Copyright 2019 Doug Anderson