Last night

Last night as I walked through the gate after work and then my walk,
I saw the goats lying on the mini-trampoline, as is their new habit at night.
This time, as I neared them, neither got up. I approached quietly and crouched down.
I watched them, the peace they lived in.
Slowly I reached out and petted Pepper more gently than usual—soft strokes
down the length of her side, feeling
the bulge of her warm belly through her dusty fur.
Before this, they have always arisen and milled around me when I come home at night,
but now Pepper remained lying, forefeet tucked, head up, eyes gazing at something
only goats can see. I could hear her breathing,
as though she were inhaling and exhaling extra-long,
as one does sometimes in meditation.
Then she turned to me, with that breath of fermenting grass, and chewed her cud,
her jaw moving languidly side to side, as though this were another
part of her meditation. I leaned in and she offered
the flat bone of her forehead for my kiss.
Cookie lay in the opposite direction, along Pepper’s other side,
as though the ripples of communion reached her through her sister’s body,
as though my petting were being multiplied like loaves and fishes.
I thought, This is what I like—tendering the tenderest affection
and feeling it being received.
The world standing still around us.

free this morning, a book of poems, available on Amazon here


About nosuchthingasastraightline

I grew up in tiny Lyme, New Hampshire, where I drew, roamed the surrounding woods, and first entertained the idea of God while listening to my mom's Beatles records. I studied biology at Harvard University where I wrote for The Harvard Lampoon and also began writing poetry. I have since made a living variously as a comedy screenwriter, teacher, and private tutor in math, science and writing. I’ve released three CDs of original music as the singer-songwriter and guitar player for Crooked Roads (listen to latest tracks here: My poetry writing has been inspired by Rumi, Billy Collins, William Carlos Williams, e.e. cummings, Antonio Machado, Federico Garcia Lorca, and others. My two books of poetry, "The Morning I Married the Sky," and “Free this Morning” are both available on Amazon.
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