DUSTY FIELD, DOG BARKING

Fall 2012: Issue 92

Dan Albergotti

When I try to see my mother in this world,

standing in a dusty field, confused

and taking tentative steps like a child—

 

when I try to see her there, after

she’s climbed out of the car she’d driven

over the shallow ditch miles from home—

 

when I try to see her there, wondering

why she’s not at the store or home,

maybe wondering where her son is—

 

when I try to see her there,

I can hear nothing

but small birds in high branches

 

and the distant barking of a dog

at the edge of an unseen fence.

He’s heard the wheels’ thump, creak

 

of old shocks, maybe the horn. He’s barking

at what he can’t see. When I try to see

my mother there, I hear the barks

 

becoming fainter, more intermittent

as the dog begins to understand

that nothing’s happened, no one’s coming.