What He Knows

Keli Stafford


My nearest neighbor

is out early this morning

walking her old dog who acts like a pup

because the rain has stopped momentarily

and the sunís come out.

He runs bounding between rows of sugar beets

forgetting he is old

and has arthritis, ignorant of ailments

and demise.

His ears lift and fall with sounds

she doesnít hear.

He runs because the morning light burns

like sulphur through the clouds.

Maybe later he will ache

and she will lay him on a rug in front of a fire.

But for now he stretches

all his bones as far as they will go

in the morningís yellow wedge of light.



Keli Stafford lives in Oregon with her husband and children. Her poetry has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Whiskey Island Magazine, Caesura, The Superstition Review, 2River View, and the Columbia Review.