Monday, December 20, 2010

were i the dog

It was a long way he ran me
out that day.
Smacking my
foolish dog's skull
with the buckle--he hit me.

No, my father said,
I've killed him,
daylight turning on a hinge.

(My coat frayed in its closet,
waiting for worse weather.
I needed to get out to the fringe.
Things, when I grew, would get better at last,
out there, away, not silent,

not quiet as cemetery flowers
growing through twilit evenings
before night-time ripe with rain.)

But that day he stained me
and I ran, chased my pate-broke
bewildered dog
around the shed, not knowing
if he was alive or dead.
His throat rattled down
to his lungs. I shivered
what rage would come
were I the dog and not the son.

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