DOG, COME HERE INTO THE DARK HOUSE. COME HERE, BLACK DOG. (Crimmins Poetry Prize Honorable Mention)

       Etching by Leonora Carrington

At night when barred owls
ask who cooks for you, she sits
by the window.  No one

cooks for her.  She has a black dog
and coral night.  The moon
offers stepladders of gleam.  Preferring the dark,

she closes shutters at dawn.  Of course
people say she must be lonely.  They’re right.
She thinks loneliness is like a maple tree

she counts on to change colors.  Besides,
with a black dog who could feel too alone?
His tail made of butterflies and

zinnias.  He barks and a glass of red wine
appears.  Quite the dog about town
yet faithful as a hard crossword puzzle

in a Sunday paper.  Her windows open
and close but rarely break.  She knows
that cracking glass will announce

her own death.  She sees it faintly
through dusty panes, smiles
before turning away.

Kenneth Pobo has a new book forthcoming from Blue Light Press called Bend Of Quiet. His work has appeared in: Hawaii Review, Nimrod, Mudfish, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing and English at Widener University in Chester.