Today's poem is by Rebecca Hoogs

Self-portrait as Porcupine

Out walking, the dog
darts off into the woods,
comes back barbed
as St. Sebastian came back
riddled by arrows.
The key, this time,
is unspinning:
arrows re-quiver,
the saint unsaints,
the dog is unhurt in reverse.
Even language
dumbs down, and you
go back the way
you came, know less
and less with every step,
as snow snaps back
to the sky and the stream
retracts its debacle.

You really let yourself go,
settle into a waddle,
and all your quills,
all your big words,
withdraw, become
so small, so close
to your chest,
that soon
they are points
you never even made.

Copyright © 2013 Rebecca Hoogs All rights reserved
from Self-Storage
Stephen F. Austin University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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