Remember that searing poem by Sarah Blake yesterday? Here’s another one. I love how the poem weaves together a child’s impulse, some interesting knowledge, a captivating animal, and a comment on human society in just a few lines. It’s poems like these, short but punchy ones, that I think demonstrate one of the great powers of poetry: to make us see and understand and appreciate and wonder all in the economical space of a moment.
My son howls at the fox. I guess
the long snout is enough, the body
we associate with a dog, doggish,
even the terrier next door throws
back his head, howling at us when
we come close. I always feel like
it’s an invitation, over the fence,
the vulnerability of the neck, and I
learned wolves howl to rally, to unite.
I can imagine that a silent pack would
be quicker to disband than one that
offered themselves like that, throats
bared, always saying to each other,
Me too, me too.
Sarah Blake is the author of Mr. West and the forthcoming collection, Let’s Not Live on Earth (both from Wesleyan University Press). An illustrated workbook accompanies her first chapbook, Named After Death (Banango Editions). In 2013, she was awarded a literature fellowship from the NEA. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and son. http://www.sarahblakepoetry.com