The Diamond Dog

from Diane Wakoski, The Diamond Dog (Poems), Anhinga Press, Tallahassee, 2010

The Diamond Dog

He hasn’t jumped yet; his square-cut
body like a calving glacier
hasn’t glitter-struck you, hasn’t
revealed its malachite striations,
its contradictions of
Once I walked
on the Mendenhall Glacier or maybe
I dreamt it? Fear clothed me –
rubber boots, yellow slicker, over
wool hooded sweatshirt, all
made of fear’s cloth, as I looked
down into the water, fathomless as
my anger about the past, water I had to
step over, from the boat
to glacier shelf.

Little Dog, you were not there, or I could have
stepped on your back naked,
shedding the clothes of trepidation
I could have ridden you, Diamond Dog –
over, past, and away –
leaving behind all the blame
and regret of betrayals, the house in the orange grove, the ash heap
from which we both came.

[Thanks to Jerome Rothenberg for posting this.]


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