Lucky has stopped barking at the squirrels.
The sun just risen over the horizon,
he’s no longer running across the field
after the barn swallows who were diving
at him, herding him away from their nests.
Lucky has disappeared into the woods,
silent except for the scrape and snap
of cottonwood saplings, bird song, insects.
I imagine he roams with a figure,
tall and slight as the young trees, as tender
as the sun filtered by the August leaves.
They brush together like two old friends
who love the twist of weeds where the deer
slept last night, the tree bark smoothed by dawn
and their waking muscles. The violets grew,
the sunflowers flourished here in June,
and now the friends listen to moles harvest
the roots and sort the seeds. Lucky grazes
his muzzle over the lingering dew.
A moth rises and the figure startles.
Having communed for half the morning,
one friend now lifts to his perch atop
a sycamore and dissolves into light.
Lucky, my lanky spotted pup, returns,
joined only by his sharp, black shadow.
MARCIA L. HURLOW‘s first full-length collection of poetry, Anomie, won the Edges Prize. She also has five chapbooks. More than 400 of her individual poems have appeared in literary magazines, including Poetry, Chicago Review, River Styx, Nimrod, Poetry Northwest, Stand, Cold Mountain, Zone 3 and The Journal, among others. Last year she received the Al Smith Fellowship for Poetry for the second time. She is co-editor of Kansas City Voices.