Max's Eye by Mimi White
And then he opened it the way light opens a meadow
At dawn, though this was an opening deeper and wider
Than the sea. And then his lips fluttered, more a quick
Snort that cows make, heavier lips than his which finally
Settled down into a sweet memory of grass, fragrant late-
In- the- season grass. And then his treble, violet- stemmed
Voice grew back into the tundra, the cold land of his
Ancestors where long sharp barks meant food, shelter,
Ice thawing before its time; danger; a mad scramble
To safety. His paws let loose the snow, the garden’s
Last furrow, spring’s chilled green promise
Which he sniffed and sniffed in his verdant dream.
And his claws dug the sand; skittered across the floor;
Scratched at the spread to come up and sleep by my side.
And then I held him and sang as if he were still mine.
And then the train that had been idling at the depot,
The one that ran through the edge of town, that blew
Its dull whistle at dawn though I slept through it
Till this dawn opened a meadow so wide light
Fell across my eyes and I knew that nothing is
Perfect and that everything is beautiful.
Mimi White, poet and teacher, has been working for more than twenty-five years with students of all ages to help them create original and authentic work, be it poetry, memoir or non fiction writing. She has worked in a variety of settings including schools, libraries, prisons, residencies for the elderly, and universities. Her poems have been published in dozens of journals including Poetry, Harvard Review, West Branch, The Seattle Review, The Worcester Review and Rivendell. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Into The Darkness We Go and the The Singed Horizon, which was selected by Robert Creeley as the recipient of the 2000 Philbrick Poetry Award. She was Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire 2005-2007. Deerbrook Editions published her first full length book, The Last Island, in the spring of 2008.
Poem is used here with the permission of the poet, all rights reserved.