Any Other Pasture

Any Other Pasture

Yesterday, the heat, today
the rain begins. The moles,
busy in their labyrinths,
move mountains.

Our dog wears tight lips
in a wise face.

The tumor had blossomed
overnight. Deeper than
nature’s claw, there has
been much cutting and sewing.
The plastic bucket over
her head keeps her from chewing,
like a trapped coyote.

To restore the corrugated flesh
we try comfrey, even, taken
from the woods. The vet’s faith,
foolish as our nostrums,
works no better.

One corner of the wound
sighs as she breathes.
Her nose a compass, she moves
like a bent shopping cart.
The bucket keeps her from seeing.
She blunders and trips on old scents.

We know nothing will work.

This is a secret we would like
to keep from ourselves. Our eyes
look for another language.
The rules for any other pasture
seem more reasonable.

The vet’s needle
would be an opening gate.