Photograph of a Boy and a Dead Dog
Difficult to say how the boy feels, standing
in the road, the dead at his feet, his face
plain as a glass of milk. It could be his dog.
It could be he is just discovering the body
(hit by a car?) on his way home from school
and grief is a seed that will grow into an ash tree,
one he’ll return to each autumn as the leaves
in his mind change colors, flicker across
the front lawn and out to a street that leads
away from home forever. No doubt, he doesn’t
understand. But he’s trying. His eyes
are two keyholes and perhaps, inside, some lock
is turning. Some tumblers fall into place.
When it’s done, who’s to say which door
will fly open or seal itself up? After all,
his expression, is not anguish or pain.
It’s a blank haze. Like clouds on an overcast day
that can’t decide if they should disperse
or tighten into thunderheads—let the storm unfold
its arms, spread its fingers, touch everything.