Sunday, March 6, 2011

Taking the dog out ...

Today's entry is a poem I thoroughly related to ... "Taking the Dog Out at 2 AM," by Keetje Kuipers. As with so many Montana-based poets, she's spent time living in Missoula; for the purposes of this blog we'll have to overlook the unfortunate fact that she's hanging out in California more often these days.
I’ve just slipped past those guards of sleep
who tonight are more like Swedish policemen—
well-meaning but complacent—just as happy
to let me go on my way as detain me here
in this land of the conscious, when you begin
your rhapsodic mantra of barking at the door.

For this I would like to punish you or at least
give a gentle reminder that unlike you, I
haven’t been napping most of the day.

Instead, we are released into air so cold
it works like quicksand on my lungs,
sucking the oxygen from itself as I watch
you canter to the nearest snow drift in your
coat of shimmering black velvet.

With ice cuffs around your ankles,
you look dressed for a midnight ball.

We’re three days away from the longest
night of the year and if I wish for anything
as I count the trunks of the pines you’ve
disappeared into, it’s that heaven, too—
if there is a place we go after this—
will have such a similarly deep and inescapable
darkness for you to root among and for me
to marvel at while I wait for your return.

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