God Spelled Backwards
(for Gwendolyn Brooks)
by Alyce Wilson

The moon half-eaten,
a thin slice of sky.
How would you
have called it? How
the black birds flinging themselves
off the tree? How,
the pink frost hanging
on the rim of the sky?
Would you have dared
mention the flagrant mess
left by the dog, who
pulls counterpoint
to my thoughts? You,
you would have made
it fragrant.

Your poems
would have had
people -- more
than just me with
my growly stomach,
more than me
intoning "Come"
as the dog
snorfles the earth.
"Come" as she
slumps through
leaves. "Come"
as she digs in,
samples the grass, pulls
earth into
her nose, slavers
the sky.

I want to follow
a cloud of burnt
brown leaves. She
wants to walk into
the wind.

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