Treasure Island

Jim Davidson

Pets Along the Road

A long dirt road
Furrowed and plowed.

Water and earth
Come together
And are ripped
Like unfinished dough
The rips in the road
Form caves and cavities
Hiding places

A black dog
Stretched out
Hidden in a furrow
One paw stretched
I reach back to him
I retrieve him

There are more
A cat and a dog

I have to find them

Submitted: Friday, October 19, 2012
Edited: Friday, October 19, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This poem evolved from a dream, one of those disturbing kind of Daliesque dreams. A dream where you can recall memories of having done something prior to the dream, false memories, then you spend the rest of the dream trying to undo what your memories tell you that you had done.

It's daylight. I'm driving down a narrow road, a ragged sort of road made up of dirt, ripped and churned and wet like it had been freshly plowed. Great deep furrows fold into each other but with large gaps large enough to reach into with an arm.

I am in a car, driving along the edge of this road, crawling along at walking speed, looking for something. The door to the car is missing. I sit low where the driver would sit, but it is as if there is no seat in the car. I can reach all the way to ground from where I'm sitting.

It occurs to me I'm looking for animals. I'm anxious and concerned where these animals can be found. It occurs to me I have been on this road before. That I had let these animals loose, pets, along the way thinking they would be safe. It's strange and irrational but sometimes in dreams the irrational seems justifiable.

I see one. A black dog. His paw stretched into a muddy furrow.
He is alive. He is hiding. I reach down and make a grab towards him to extract him from where he has hidden himself into a large muddy cavity in the road. My anxiety goes up as I realize that there are three animals, one cat and two dogs, and I have no idea where and when I had abandoned them along the side of this road. I only know that I had previously left them there along the side of the road. I had thought they would be safe.

The dream dissolves at this point. My awareness of real place and real time returns. I'm propped on the cheap hotel room couch. The vacuum tube television is blaring. Some television police drama from the 90s. It's nearly three AM. I need some iced coffee. I don't want to fall asleep too soon and return to that muddy road.

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