We Would Have Missed
by Joan Colby


Hiking through the pasture, the timothy
In need of mowing. Cockleburs
Velcroing our pantslegs, boots leaving depressions
In rainsoaked earth. A red tail soaring
His hungers. A tree down. A fencepost rotting
At the base like an aching tooth. We scan
For chores and would have missed
The scene of last night’s drama—
How the coyotes yipped, the ragged xylophones
Of their orchestrated joy—
If the dog hadn’t stiffened,
If we hadn’t attended,
If it weren’t for the bones.






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