“Every Night the Long Swim”

by Robert Wrigley


I miss her, the old dog
dead now more than four years.

She was black and used to dream dreams
that bubbled to the surface of her as she slept.

She preferred the water to the land.
She loved a hand and the way it might be held

from the arm of the chair into the daily air she lived in,
though this world was a long, dry lakelessness

no one in the household but she was so ungilled for.

Thus her dreams. Always she seemed to be running,
but I think now she was afloat, and every day

was the duck she offered us. Every night the long swim
over water so dark she disappeared and became the dream,

then swam back, rising, shaking away the night into the light

until it was gone.