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Window Box

                                    Mike Smith

Upstairs, the dog has dropped its ball. New life,
it bounces twice. New life mimics the old,
a thought which might bring comfort, might bring grief.
(Claws click like ice on ice, dogs do as told.)

I overdo. Like Kierkegaard or like
these flowers in their box, bedaubed with dew.
(Bedaubed—a word for writing, not to speak.)
With dew, the yard appears greener than you

might guess. Mornings like this, I’ve seen two rats
tumble the field so joyfully I think
they must forget they’re rats. But no rat forgets.
No scuffling rat, no Kierkegaard, would shrink

from this movement so like the orbital leap
from text to text. Rats tumble in their place—
bedaubed like Kierkegaard, in bloom, in sleep,
who knew that every flower overstays.

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