What the Dog Has Fetched
Last night, the neighbor’s dog paid a visit,
loneliness plus a hole in the fence. I brought
her back to her empty house, and sat again to write,
but she reappeared, her nails a sheepish staccato
on the dark porch. Three times, we repeated
this going and returning before I accepted
her felted flanks, her stink. I had been elected
primate of the block and had to accept it,
the way I must accept that the pain I thought
vanquished was only temporarily banished.
Its resurfacing means I’m once more caught
up in trying first this then that
to persuade it to abate if not dissipate—
For the time being, at least, I’m hard-pressed.
by Devon Balwit
Editor’s Note: Certain pains (grief, loneliness, trauma) are always just around the corner, and this poem skillfully illustrates the difficulty of escaping the stubborn intractability of such things.