We define ourselves in movement,
in the uncertain light and forms
shuddering by: fences, the nameless
wave, odors, dark water.
Look at the hills, their lines stretched taut like
smiles, or voices torn from the earth.
Or the creek below us – how its mouth never closes
yet nothing emerges but a shadow
on the wind. Two questions arise,
leaving only the abandoned to consider.
In our solitude, only my self is missing.
“Jackboy’s Lament” made its first appearance here in October 2015. I started the poem about a dozen years ago, after a drive through the Texas hill country with Jackboy the cattledog, who was quite the philosopher and humorist. This is what emerged after several conversations and much reflection over his circumstances (abused, abandoned, rescued). Jack didn’t talk much, but he thought. Oh, how he thought.