The valley walks this morning, hulking
cowflesh lumbering toward water.
Glossy coats twitching, and egrets busy
with the earth at their feet.
Another man lost to the virus today,
his song echoing in our chests. And still
there is a boy, his brother, his dog, a whip.
And the road that leads us home.
(Originally published as “Boys with Sticks,” in Handfuls of Bone, Gaspereau Press, 2012)