Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Woman and the Wheelbarrow



















Photo: Jamie K. Reaser

The dog can’t explain her odd behavior.
Or, how she became so ill-prepared for this world.

One day, she will certainly starve.

~

There she goes again,

fetching the old, rust-bottomed wheel barrow
from the depths of the cold garage.
Boots and jacket and determination flustering;
hunched and pushing her way,
single wheel-spade cutting through the morning air,
turning and turning , writing its mucky name across
the mud-patched lawn,
spattering
until
                she stops
at the nose of the remains of the deer carcass
that her dog dragged home, for her, again.

What to do but stand there, wondering on death
while looking down upon this
empty dishevelment of a car-struck life

while awaiting a strategic plan

from the angels.

One, two…

And, finally,
seconds having passed,
it arrives.

So there she goes, lifting the stiff and soggy,
chunks and bits,
of skin and bone and still-binding cartilage,
and things she cannot put to some knowledge of 
former use, each
into the belly of the chariot.

Onward to the open field,
onward to where the sky is a doorway for those
transiting Heaven and Earth,
onward until
this is the perfect place to stop
and dump it all out.

Then, she leaves.

~

And the spirits descend:

Turkey vultures flanked by their darker, smaller kin
became deliriously crop-stuffed under the brief 
winter sun, lifting off with much effort not long before 
the red fox skulks in at dusk, hoping the night will keep 
him secret until he has made his stomach full, after which the 
patient little deer mice, a pair, scramble out of the tall grasses 
and onto a broken rib and gnaw its sharply-curved edge for 
treasured calcium, oh, up!, they spring away just in the 
nick of time, the coyote family taking over, survival greedy, 
yielding to no one
other than dawn.

~

The dog can’t explain her odd behavior.
Or, how she became so ill-prepared for this world.

One day, she will certainly starve.

~

The very next morning, she returns to check on things
and finds little there to find.

She is pleased.

She smiles,
and thinks to herself:

“It feels so very good to be of service.”

~

And then she goes home

and feeds the dog.


© 2014-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Wonderment: New and Selected Poems" 
To be published by Talking Waters Press

~ For Grace Cangialosi and her dog ~

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