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(previously published in   Niederngasse)

A pile of ash, a spaniel on a string,
a dormant summer lawn:
morning splits the milkweed shaft
left leafless by the Monarchs.
White skeletons rise aloft,
         At night
the kettle barbecue drops
embers in its dish. Two lightning bugs
arc in and out, reappear beneath a wall
of trees where they were not

and all these jewels and wings,
the need of the dog caught
by his running leash, starved for touch,
and this pen condemned to narrow life —

Easier to focus on your green eyes
lightly puffed by grief, your lashes
dark as night’s vegetation,
because love never dies,
like the devotion of this spaniel,
and this man, and this
impossible art.

      — C. E. Chaffin