Animals

Two Poems by Laura Sobbott Ross

 

Grace Sleeps through Poetry

 

First Friday Writing Group, Rollins Campus

sheltie face

Obligingly, into the circle of us, she falls,

clack and hum and hiss of our tongues

catching in the soft folds of her ears.

Intonations of syllables, rise and fall,

rise and fall until hills rumble with ponies

she shepherds through waves of wild iris.

Twitch in her eye, a swallowtail wing,

a word from a poem that flits too close—

like bone or good or come. I wonder

if she dreams like we do of being chased

or flying, and standing naked in the light.

Unruly ponies so close she can smell apples,

switch grass, the purple of their livers.

She sighs, senses us— a crooning thicket

reaching in to soothe our fingers

on the silk of her coat. Words

on our white leaves, the same

language we use to call for Grace—

a flying dog lofting in a room

of storytellers gone naked with our truths.

 

 

Dogs Barking in the Night

gloria dog an moon

 

It is an ancient sound,      almost

as familiar            as the smell of smoke

to the marrow          of bone.

 

I think          I can recall

it back to the cradle,        where it felt

heavier than        the dry weight of kisses

across damp eyelids          and more

dispossessed        than the emptied hollows

of hunger          or whispered lullabies.

 

It will always be          night-speak,

the weight of stars         in a dark blue window,

the yearning          of earthbound souls

across darkness—

 

rhythmic breath          and walls

kicked away          like warm blankets

in this language            of our dreaming—

one to another,            back and forth,

 

and beyond          solemn rooftops,

dark,            quivering leaves,

and territories          that cannot be claimed

by fences, instinct, or buried bones.

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