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The Full Measure

John B. Lee


There's the voice of the dog in the barn
you can measure his mood
in the mind
take his size
from the weight of his breath
seek his span in the volume of sound
find fear in the blood
of his moon
or loss in his lonesome lament
you can know
both by the girth of his ribs
and the fall of his thought
how his heart
might break over hay
or race like a hare on the lee
where he's home
in the scattering clods
that screed
in the wake of his claws
what wags
on the hinge of a leaf
what sleeps
in a slow-dying snow
where the knots
are like stars
in his world
and the dust shafts
that swirl to be seen
seem angels gone mad
to the floor

what he names
for the car on the road
what he calls
to the yard in the dark
or the sun
if he's held until noon
is this not the shelter
of hope
is this not the lonesome
repair
come close to the lock
and I'll say
what's gathered away
in the windings of time
by the rain and the wind
on the heel that covers the land



John B. Lee's works copyright © to the author.


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