Rain on Rust

barn

It was just like the day we found you, splintered on the boards of Papa’s barn, your fur all gobstuck and bloody and piled on your bones like a stack of muddy rugs.

Benny said, “He’s dead. I know it. Look at them eyes.”

And I knelt beside you and saw the white spilling out all slow from the crack of your mouth. I heard how you were breathing soft and quick, and I made Papa take us down the way to Mr. Pace, and he sent us home with pills and said to wait, and keep you quiet.

That was the night I made pillows for a dog– a god-damned dog, she said– out of mama’s linen table spread, and she said she’d take a stick to me, but didn’t.

and it was like sun on bark;
I’m halfway up the mag
dangling over the hot, brown pond
daring myself to drop
where there be cottonmouths and copperheads

and you have all four paws dug deep
on the edge of the water
nosing up to me to say
it’s safe,

and I can fall
if I really want to.

It was like the sun
black, hot on the gun
in Papa’s steady hands.

It was how we found you
dragging on the ground
unsteady in the head.

It was only age,
“and we can’t help his age,”
they said, again, again.

It was you, but spilling.
It was crickets trilling,
singing you along.

It was you and me
and one magnolia tree,
quiet by the pond.

3 thoughts on “Rain on Rust

  1. Pingback: Rain on Rust | Rebecca prompted

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