by Constance Vogel Adamkiewicz
Eyes squeezed shut, you watch a mangled newsreel of your life.
The floor rumbles. Something has unearthed the earth,
a great exhalation as if the whole world has breathed out.
The dog pricks up her ears, paces the bare floors,
her nails a metronome - click-click, click-click,
from twelve to two o’clock, when the bear
of darkness crawls from its cave.
Drowsy, you plod to the porch,
where the dog has led you.
She stands, a statue peering out.
In the stillness you expect something
to blast across the lawn - a coyote
with a bloody rabbit in its jaws, a burglar
with your jewelry in his burlap bag, or worse.
Wide awake till dawn you rock in the wicker chair
watching the black holes between the hostas and ferns.
You can deal with a coyote or burglar, but not with your life.
~ first published in