Kate Northrop

The Dog

He comes leaping out of the closed door of my dreams–
a dark retriever, slick
as if he had just swum quickly across a river
and his name tags glitter
though nothing is written on them.
In the center of the living room he sits
and he persists
as flowers persist: a vase of the freshly cut
demanding in sunlight to be seen–
until I give up. Washing dishes,
pretending nothing’s there, when I look,
the dog isn’t there; he’s into the field, nose
to the trail of some circling
missing thing. I call but he’s off
instantly into the woods, where all day he drifts,
impossible to know, and does not get lost.

Kate Northrop
The Dog first appeared in Raritan Review.