In memory of a very good dog, without too much vile sentiment

Rest

Trolling the supermarket
with a wobble-wheeled cart,
running nowhere, fast as you can,
on the treadmill’s highest setting,
anywhere really where thoughts
can scatter, you are sifting
through the rag-and-boneyard.

Florid vegetation everywhere,
the rapid growing kind,
survives all killing;
dollsheads, ancient yellowed panties,
the occasional cracked safe,
rust-leaking, interspersed
among the twining roots.

The water here is strong,
high scented, alive with life
and calling out death.
Pick a spot along the bank,
clear a space among
the greenish bones.
This is the place
where we all lie down.

If a limping dog
should join you there,
grey-coated, blind,
take him in your arms.

Hold him close,
while you can,
in this place of uncoupling.
You are a regular visitor here,
he’s just passing through:
such need your comfort.

Across the river
the fields are more vivid
than you have ever seen,
weedless. The trees are tall
in golden air. Their breath
is sweet and lingering.

When he crosses the water
you are still afraid to drink of,
his limbs will strengthen,
his eyes will gleam
with their old forgotten joy.

When the two of you part
by your various paths
you will go rested,
heavy with story
and with filth
on your clothes
ready for writing.

He will shake the water off,
his coat shining lupine
and black, with a richness
he has never known.
He will run, white teeth
snapping at gilt motes
he can finally catch.

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About Bethany W Pope

Bethany W Pope was named by the Huffington Post as ‘one of the five Expat poets to watch in 2016’. Nicholas Lezard, writing for The Guardian, described her latest collection as 'poetry as salvation'.....'This harrowing collection drawn from a youth spent in an orphanage delights in language as a place of private escape.' Bethany has won many literary awards and published several collections of poetry. Her first novel, Masque, was published by Seren in 2016. Her second novel, Ordinary Lives: The Ballad of John and Mary, was published in 2018. Follow her on Twitter @BethanyWPope

Posted on May 7, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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