Spirit House and Goat

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after Peter Matthiessen

This goat by the crooked door,
gazing through sheets of rain into the mud,
a cosmic vision? Or might it simply be
my grandfather’s goat, the one I remember
from the barn in Saratoga on Congress Street,
the black and white goat that lived among the chickens
back in the darkness. “I long to let go,
drift free of things,
to accumulate less, depend on less,
to move more simply,” the traveler in the Himalayas
said to the cosmic goat, yet I recall
that goat my grandfather named without imagination,
“Billy Goat,”
to which he used to croon,
“Billy? Billy? Billy?” and the goat
in all its stink and foolishness and hunger
would come to my grandfather’s hand,
here to be here, here to look no further.

-Dick Allen
Present Vanishing

Categories: Poems & PhotosTags: , , , , , , , ,

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