Today's poem is by Brendan Galvin

Carolina Déjá Vu

When my daughter's pit bull Lilith
began dragging me toward a line of cedars
bordering the field, I gripped her leash
in both hands and leaned back
as though water-skiing, letting
her take all my weight more slowly
across those dips and swells of grass

toward whatever back there
was moving fast and keeping to
the trees, buffeting branches,
haunch of a big dog I thought I saw,
or a jogger, until a black bear
went galloping down the tree line.

Suddenly oxygen-deprived, I saw things
as through thick glass in the August heat
that had dropped its deep-sea diver's
helmet over me and was starting
to knot the source of air.

Then the sirens, adding their wail
to the cicadas, taking the curse off
the fireplug dog yapping and leaping
as if to offer us up as prime morsels,
her purple tongue flagging,

and taking me back forty or fifty years
to the kind of misery that made
our mother wring her hands—My boys
are so wild! Even a bear foraging
among the motels and gas stations
at the city's edge might approximate

human misery at seven o'clock
on a Sunday morning—a quart of
maple walnut or a bag of chips
at the Zipmart, say—and
a solid citizen out walking a dog

might root for the bear as it drove
to a chainlink fence it never even
paused to puzzle out, but took it
as a teen-aged felon would,
one crash in the yaupon
and crepe myrtle and gone.

Copyright © 2005 Brendan Galvin All rights reserved
from The Laurel Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved