The old women who rise early
must think me the hound
whose purest intention is to keep
his habitual round
as I plod the unlit county road
in the rain, nose to the ground,
led by a scent. No meandering
mutt am I, dog of hijink,
junkyard, or bog. Wet hair
dripping my lips perpetual drink
off the fountain of my nose
I suppose they think I have a link
lost in the chain of ideas, or missing
boxcar on the train of thought.
They don’t understand that out
in the rain on the same old route
I move at a pace which liberates
limbs of faith from trunks of doubt.
Rounding the bend and smelling the bread
Mrs. Woods has baked I spy
the waiting gait, and when I trod
straight the road gone awry
from spilling ditch near Emory’s pond
I chase the ducks but they don’t fly.
No longer a rushing cur am I.
Intemperate geese nip at the back
of my calves, and quacking ducks come
pleading for the bread that I lack.
Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California. He has work in The Nervous Breakdown, Amarillo Bay, Across the Margins, and Atticus Review. He was the summer issue poet of Clerestory in 2015.