The Opened Gate

The Opened Gate

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

Our dog wears tight lips
in a wise face. The tumor

had blossomed almost 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.

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

One corner of the wound
soughs 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 short of faith would work.

This is a secret we would like
to keep from ourselves.
Our eyes look for another language,
some other rules, any other pasture.

The vet’s needle would be an opening gate.