An Explanation


by Brendan Galvin

While you were
at the post office,
quail flowed through
your garden, dividing
around the fish pool

while the dog, that
crypto-rationalist, lay
on the deck as though
nothing wonderful
were passing the lantana

and nodding through
the asparagus and right up
the path, innocent as
a nursery school class.

Even before I saw them
I knew by their plaintive
quirking who they were,
and came out afterwards
to see the path
dimpled with their passing,

which is why I'm
still here, whispering
at the threshold
of the woods.

Sky and Island Light (1996).

The Atlantic Monthly; June 1997; An Explanation; Volume 279, No. 6; page 74.


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