Summer 2002 • Vol. XXIV No. 3/4 Poetry |

Spring at Black River

The dog is punctilious racing after the ball. It pains him to bring it back. Though we pride ourselves on our power to love, how to be loved is a mystery. Once we were cruel and fooled him with feints to make him dive fiercely into tall grass, then look around dubiously, with no trace of indignation, just grief and fear of failure. Now he hunts in the thorns, possessed by deep joy. He has worn his ball to a wisp. We've been living three months in the stone house on Poor Farm Road practicing marriage, a happiness we usually can't bear—each keeps a lawyer's number. Season of small coiled winds that butt each other like goats: the dog now just The Dog, Spica no longer yours or mine, and when we see our first firefly, bright shock in the tented willow, we each think: home.

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D. Nurkse is the author of ten collections of poetry, most recently A Night in Brooklyn (Knopf, 2012).

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