Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

What Belongs to Us

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

What Belongs to Us

Article excerpt

Nothing coy about that canine

bold and alone out on the field.

I'm on a mower, some say I can say-

on my own land. Others say otherwise.

Either way, I'm mowing and I think

that is not a dog. So it's a standoff.

He stands his ground, I keep coming,

admiring that foxlike face, that fine

fur ruff, that bristling tail. The hairs

on my own neck are rising and the

is-he-a-coyote? does not move. He's

tall at the shoulder, too tall, and,

dammit now, too bold. A plane overhead,

no, flying too low. The motor of the mower

and the engine in the air meet somewhere.

I'm thinking about what comes out

of airplanes, what kept my father alive,

what might have killed him, as he's edging

now towards death and I'm edging

toward this other unknown.

I stay on my line, that's what you do, right?

You hold. What other alarms are we missing?

The pileated woodpecker in the dead

walnut startles a murder of crows and

everyone is cawing. …

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