A Walk in the Spring with My Dog
Well yes, it takes medicine now and will, plus
the kind of footgear that a wild child
just down from the barricades would expect
to anchor the costume of an elder
An old party, new to the game
which apparently begins now: as others
gather to march, we are stepping off
into the winds of tomorrow. The trees
part like a gate for The Dog Who Believes
That She Will Live Forever. Green grass,
yellow flowers, silver-running creeks:
all that, again and again, year after year
Why should it be otherwise?
Why? Because the winds have invaded
my house, so there is no turning back
The cups and saucers have been put away
The bed has fallen through the floor
Now, only the dreams of the dog know how
to clean the rooms. Only the dreams of
the dog filter down through the sunlight
and reveal the way. Now is the time of
lonely steps: human time, but with
an animal’s seeing eye. Thus, the
days arrive like letters in the wind
and open themselves fearlessly
while we wait to breathe
by Eleanor Lerman
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Editor’s Note: The imagery in this poem pulls the reader into aging with the narrator, and the dog that understands nothing of time. This dichotomy gives the final two lines extra meaning.
New Dragons Discovered in the Andes
—headline about wood lizards, from BBC.com
Surely their faces must register the shock
when pale creatures stumble
in their general direction—
wrapped in pocketed fabrics,
carrying dark boxes that flicker like rifles
but make little sound, sting no corners of flesh,
the fires they belch, this time, harmless.
Of course they sense the cruel potential
in those with sunken eyes and flexible digits
that stretch to reach whatever they wish
to seize, unaccustomed as they are
to denial; their poor hearts shrink
to the size of a coffee bean at the whisper
of “no.” Beneath a sun gone ghostly
at these arid heights, the dragon turns
his head with something akin to slow
deliberation towards humans who scribble
or peck against plastic screens.
They do nothing more, do not grab or lay open
square cages with hair-trigger traps.
They snapshot. They record. They step back
a slow pace or two, stand like trees long used
to this atmosphere. Soon enough, things will change.
For now, a strange calm descends,
the likes of which none here have seen before.
by Jo Angela Edwins
Editor’s note: The meeting of human and animal is not always copacetic. This poem imagines the meeting from the dragon’s point of view, with uneasy deliberation.