Today's poem is by Dawn Potter

Skunk Moon

Skunks wander under moonlight.
Alone in the weeds a two-leafed violet
droops. Children abed tumble their sheets.
Too laden, a tree releases apples
to burst in the straggling grass. The dog,
feet twitching, sighs with the boys,

and skunks hum and scrape like boys,
moonstruck eyes under moonlight,
tails erect, flowering. The dog
turns in his basket. The violet
wilts—near kin of the apples
splayed in the orchard, the sheets

of road-pasted leaves, the sheets
of rain that tomorrow boys
will kick from puddles. Apples
drop and rot in the moonlight.
Skunks on their round violet
soles tread through the dark to dog

the fruit, but the sleeping dog
burrows in shadows and sheets.
He dreams of blood, violet
and red; of rats, of boys
and their sticks. The moonlight
casts its spell on the apples,

the shelves, the carpets: on apples
in grass trembling like dog
dreams. Their shivers are moonlight
falling from the stairs; they are sheets
of darkness eroding. O little boys
asleep in your beds! The violet

sags near death, near death. The violet
fades as the orchard apples
swell and rot and vanish. Little boys
twist and wander; the little dog
runs in place. Coiled in sheets,
they speak in tongues as the moonlight

forsakes the violet, the breathing dog
who scents no apples, the tangled sheets
of autumn binding boys to bed, skunks to moonlight.

Copyright © 2004 Dawn Potter All rights reserved
from Boy Land
Deerbrook Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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