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  • Ontario Creates
  • Ontario Arts Council
  • Canada Council for the Arts

Run With Her

From Brick 85

Brick 85
He was tired, the gloss
had gone off the day,
but there was still the dog,
pacing, appearing at his desk
in indicting silence, with that chafing
yet stoical stare—the dog drawing him
on and out into day’s dimming aftermath, earth
turning its face from the sun’s latest extinction
as he and the dog plod, side by side, out of the city
into cityless time—the reliquary forest still cached
with ancestral smells, where the reviving man and
would-be wolf (loping ahead, nose low, feverishly
truffling the cedar duff) truly run now, as if hounding more
than phobic voles, squirrels and the gone worlds hunkered
in either mind, like the first hunter and wolf to run in squadron,
before any farm or village, mill, metropolis or bylaw, all the
sensible taming and setting-to-good-use, those leashes
we’re linked to, our PIN-tinkling collars and other losses
and gains. Yet for now all losses lag behind him
and the dog with her panting grin, full gallop, his pulse
pacing hard, fired up, keeping stride—deeper
into stands of pine and the great, sky-
rooted oaks, along fading, finally
untakable trails, her tail—as he
slows now, stumps in pursuit—
almost lost, a hinge of smoke
in the gloom, receding
ahead into the past—

Steven Heighton’s most recent books are The Dead Are More Visible (stories) andWorkbook (a collection of memos and essays on creativity). His 1989 poetry collection Stalin’s Carnival was recently reissued in a revised edition by Palimpsest. He also writes fiction reviews for the New York Times Book Review.

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