Walking the dog—August,
above the Blackwater Dam
a drought year,
water collected in little motionless pools,
shelter only to languid fish,
twitchy-twig mosquito larva.
And the dog, a great Rottie-Shepherd mix I got
from the rescue league, panting thirst through locust trill,
poison ivy, cinnamon mud turned powder,
plunges into the shallow water,
tongue lapping, mouth grinning and a drop
displaced, airborne over the dam,
a placid trajectory, glint of sun spectrum,
descent, evaporation. August-claimed
by a force greater than gravity.
And the dog
lopes free, shakes, seeks
shade for an afternoon nap.
I watch the pool return to its reflective flat.
A turtle black-shadow along the bottom.
I gaze at the cement
where the droplet would have fallen
until my eyes burn.
Janet Barry is a musician and poet with works published in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently Prairie Wolf Press, The Mom Egg, Naugatuck River Review, Extract(s), and Looseleaf Tea. She serves yearly as a judge for Poetry Out Loud, and has received several Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations, as well as having her poem “Aubade” chosen for inclusion in a forthcoming edition of BiLINE (Best Indie Lit New England). Janet holds degrees in organ performance and poetry.