July light bums through its blue blanket
of sky. I spend the day plumping up the dog bed,
He pads from corner to corner,
and from time to time,
yelps out in excruciating pain
that bolts through his body.
Then I kneel down on the floor
and rub his long brown ears.
With ignorance comes terror
and a lost nick of time,
as if I’d opened the bam doors
to a flaming delta, swirling from the hayloft.
Flinging the stall doors open,
not a single trapped horse emerges
from the doomed comfort of their stalls.
All afternoon, I nap with Simon,
I eat with Simon,
I rub the raw ridges of spine
that have risen to the surface of his flinching back,
study the hollowing yellow flickers
in his imploring eyes.
I want to cover them. Instead,
I pat my knee, convince him to take a walk
out into the clear, smokeless air.
What have I gained by living
life, as if there were always something left to light?