Pets Along The Road - Poem by Jim Davidson
A long dirt road
Furrowed and plowed.
Water and earth
And are ripped
Like unfinished dough
The rips in the road
Form caves and cavities
A black dog
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
Poet's Notes about The Poem
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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