Dog eyes, crow feathers, black shoes beneath the bed,
the burnt pan of potatoes on the stove—and then night
wrapped a veil around my sick mare as she walked
restless circles in the corral dirt, a shape
of rib and air, sweat blooming
its little rain along her neck.
When she lay down and I lay down with her
I understood that a vet an hour away
is a vet in another country.
And the dark around us was not
an ocean of grace or loss but a black bowl
that, if we let go, holds us
without pity. But it holds us.
(in the collection The Hours I Keep)