Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Doug Anderson: Only the hard things remain

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

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Photograph by Doug Anderson

3 comments on “Doug Anderson: Only the hard things remain

  1. daniel r. cobb
    February 11, 2019

    I enjoyed this. The light slowly fades from all of us, inevitably, and looking back I wish I had embraced the joy and intensity of youth when it was with me. But yesterday always seems better, yes? We always seem to obsess over what has been lost rather than what we still have. I have to remind myself to try to hold on, to bathe in the joy of life while I still can.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dd1226comcastnet
    February 7, 2019

    I love this poem. Doug Anderson looks at and lives in the dark places. But ultimately he floods them with sparkles of light.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rich Clay
    February 7, 2019

    How can one not feel the grasp of this, the poem and the plight itself?!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 7, 2019 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , .

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