On our walk, my dog and I, we take this same path every day,
though it’s not same as last year or yesterday —
she knows this.
She sniffs the new story from the day’s knowledge-filled air,
nuzzles in the playful soil and the sweet,
summery green body of a baby leaf — she’s thrilled.
On her leash, she pulls — I pull back like I know more
or have some better place to go.
She hungers for everything and I don’t know anything.
I only see where I am: swimming upstream
in a mind that worries
when the hungry tide might take me undersea,
though it hasn’t — not yet,
despite my heart’s breaking, or when my eating
got disordered, or when my car flipped over on the interstate,
but I was still breathing, am still breathing.
Yet, somehow, I still forget
the crawl through that window, broken,
how the pavement was burning,
and how I heard it all around me
ringing like the angels with their clearest A tuning
every instrument of Earth’s orchestra
alive. I said, “I am alive!” to everyone
and everything around me that day.
And I think what it must be like
to feel that every day, like my dog.
it’s a blessing just to be here.
On a recent New Yorker Poetry Podcast episode, host and poet Kevin Young mentioned that both poems and trauma live in the body. If this is true, I’m glad that this poem found my car accident from a September several years ago.
Writing and photography by: Katy Claire Funke