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This fine poem by Grand Rapids poet Rodney Torreson looks into the world of boys arriving at the edge of manhood, and compares their natural wildness to that of dogs, with whom they feel a kinship.

On a Moonstruck Gravel Road

The sheep-killing dogs saunter home,

wool scraps in their teeth.

From the den of the moon

ancestral wolves

howl their approval.

The farm boys, asleep in their beds,

live the same wildness under their lids; every morning they come back through the whites of their eyes to do their chores, their hands pausing to pet the dog, to press its ears back, over the skull, to quiet that other world.

 

From "A Breathable Light," New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2002, and first published in Sou'wester. Copyright 2002 by Rodney Torreson and reprinted by permission of the author. This weekly column is supported by the Poetry Foundation, the Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

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