I know my dog can hear things that I cannot–
The thrum of hummingbird wings in the garden,
The music of moths spinning cocoons, the whirr and wrap
Of silken threads, the drowsy dance before their resurrection.
Perhaps his ears are full of flightful sounds.
In the apple tree, I shut my eyes, I shut my self
And let the metal shards of my parents’ anger fall
At its root. The contrast of the pink blossoms
Against the unyielding blades is not lost
On the part of me that stands outside, watching.
Our small collie is chained to the back porch and one day
The children next door, angry children, throw a brick
And break his back. The plum tree mourns all night
The stench of sorrow winding up to my window.
All he has heard is loosed on the garden. Words,
Half words, sirens, shadows of words, whistles.
Sleepless, I walk amongst the complex and broken
Sounds, disembodied, partial meanings, expectations.
My dog can hear my cries before they leave my throat
And wars continents away. I never wake him from his sleep
Letting him rise in his own good time to carry from the deep
The burden of dogs, to hear, but not to speak.