William Stobb
And Now Sparky's Wild and Free

That’s how Janelle ends the story

in which her pet terrier is lured away and so

thoroughly devoured it’s possible to believe

he ran off to live with coyotes.

I take weather’s view. High enough

to see the region rippled by

ranges, smeared with lake-beds. 

Sparky’s demise at the teeth and paws

of her own distant cousins

glints like a metal object half

embedded in prairie—

singular remnant of say

fifteen thousand years

of so perfectly preserved and

impossibly ornate reality

that it becomes an obscure talisman.

What do you represent?

What fits your pattern?

A child is wandering, raising up his arms

at the edge of our fire light

calling into desert night.

When I hear yips and yelps in answer

I feel that upward pull

as if when coyotes trick a city rube

a thermal system passes beneath me

so while my friend believes

wildness transcends the terrier

I just rise on weather

peer down through my perforated object

at the broken ridgeline

where a canyon burst ages ago

and the subsequent eon flood

created the lake that dried

so nicely for family vacations

and coyotes in the foothill sage.




Found In Volume 52, No. 01
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William Stobb
About the Author

William Stobb is the author of six poetry collections, including You Are Still Alive (2019 42 Miles Press), the National Poetry Series Selection Nervous Systems (2007 Penguin Books), and Absentia (2012 Penguin Books).