When I say the word walk, or even spell it,
the dogs leap up with flailing tails.
Since they don’t understand the concept
of “later” or “soon,” I say it only
when I’m almost out the door.
Soon there will be no words for my slow
meanders in the woods in search of chanterelles,
while they run miles of scent trails,
nostrils flared, circling back to keep me in their ken.
No whistle even deaf old Nan can hear.
Just ash, scant handful of the world’s one body.
Soon—still in the future, for now.
—from Rattle #36, Winter 2011
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