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Salmon Poetry

Dog days

Ron Houchin

I’d always felt sorry for him
of ninety-eight
that we thought fourteen,
but each feverish day of his was

seven of mine. His lapping of water
from a big bowl more of a drinking
than I’ll ever have.

He’d spend one hundred forty seconds
licking his testicles without boredom,
and I, from my equivalent twenty,
just stood, watching.

When he ran along night paths
to find what had been blooming
over the world, he had that dark furnace

of breath before and that September
sense of what gets left behind.
My nose was nonexistent compared to his.
Olfactorily, I barely knew the road

or the dead possum we passed, but he
hung out the car window smelling
vapours escaping the long-flattened body.

He had seconds within seconds
each day. I envy his way
of keeping life up 
the first tree he ran it to.

Copyright Ron Houchin 2009

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