Today's poem is by Peter E. Murphy
Garry trudges up the valley toward
the end of the world. The grey sky is full,
not with clouds, but with boulders.
He passes Pontypridd, is almost gone
from Merthyr Tydfil when he is stopped
by a dog. What are you doing here, Dai?
the dog asks. Iím looking, says Garry.
Well you canít be tromping
through peopleís fields, can you?
The dogís accent is thick, its fur natty.
Whatís your name? asks Garry.
They used to call me Gelert, didnít they?
And Iím in charge of the sheep.
I want to be wrong, says Garry,
but havenít all the sheep in Wales been burned?
Ay, weíve fallen on a hard time, havenít we?
But the sheep will come back. They must,
Gelert says, or I donít know what Iíll do.
Garry thinks itís the saddest story
in Cymru, except for his own.
Who do you belong to? the dog asks.
I am always breathing in two places, replies Garry.
My heart is a symphony of stones.
Gelert licks his hand. Garry whimpers.
And so a dog and a man leave together,
cross a livestock bridge over Heads
of the Valleys Road, past the last pub on earth
into the wilderness of the Brecon Beacons.
The dog breaks the silence
of their heavy breathing, says, I were born
on the side of a mountain
which has been known to move.
Copyright © 2007 Peter E. Murphy All rights reserved
from The Literary Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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