Today's poem is by Erica Wright

Lola and the Wolfhound

For awhile there are two mouths at least,
                one human girl and a grizzled beast too shook

to do much more than rack his teeth together.
                The sound becomes a way to measure time,

each hour equals thirty clicks of his jaw.
                She records variations, not only the dog's

mange—the great patches of skin
                to tease themselves into view—

but also the shingle to arrive one morning
                without a house in sight. Once, the sky fills

with ash, and she chokes it down
                with all the other intrusions. Click, click.

When her lungs revolt, she coughs
                red globs into the air where they hang

like eyes and turn wherever she turns,
                so that if some day crowds arrive, they'll see

a whole jury ready for a witness.
                "Huh," thinks Lola, pulling the collar straight.

"Maybe they're on their way now,
                farm implements in tow. We should hear them out.'

And she lets her sentries swivel in the night,
                bathe the floor of her canyon with drippings.

No one could accuse her of welcome-wagoning,
                of sucking up to governors

when there are none and haven't been
                for a million clicks, maybe more.

She hopes she won't feral out before the end,
                let her own whiskers gray until, lying down

muzzle to muzzle, there's no telling the two apart
                anymore. Where do her teeth end and his begin?

Copyright © 2017 Erica Wright All rights reserved
from All the Bayou Stories End with Drowned
Black Lawrence Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Archives  Web Weekly Features  About Verse Daily  FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily  Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2017 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved