Monday, February 11, 2019

Anything but Standard by Edward Hirsch

Anything but Standard

It was the two of us, wasn't it, on those steamy nights
circling the low-slung museum across the street
and lingering by the pond behind the chapel. 

It's how the southern clouds passed slowly
overhead, season after season, year after year, 

as you followed a low intricate scent
across the stately lit lawn,
and studied the squirrels in the live oaks,
and waded into the brown reflecting pool
with the broken obelisk. 

You were a descendent of water dogs
and anything but standard
when you materialized out of the sticky heat
with your dripping black forehead
and delinquent grin, a growl unmuzzled. 

It was your Russian face that steadied me
as I sat on a battered wooden bench,
lost in a night that wouldn't end,
and you lay down—calm, poised, watchful—
and stirred beside me on the simmering grass. 

Let's get up and go.
Trot ahead of me, old friend,
and shake off the watery darkness.

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