Not Far from Here

Not far from here someone
is calling my name.
I jump to the floor.
*
Still, this could be a trap.
Careful, careful.
I look under the covers for my knife.

But even as I curse God
for the delay, the door is thrown open
and a long-haired brat enters

carrying a dog.
What is it, child? (We are both
trembling.) What do you want?

But the tongue only hops and flutters
in her open mouth
as a single sound rises in her throat.

I move closer, kneel
and place my ear against the tiny lips.
When I stand up – the dog grins.

Listen, I don’t have time for games.
Here, I say, here – and I send her away
with a plum.

– Raymond Carver

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About handshedown

Keighley Perkins is a Cardiff-based poet whose influences include Anis Mojgani, Selima Hill and Richard Brautigan. Her work has previously been published in "Acumen", "Elbow Room", "Erbacce", "Fire", "Northwind" and "Obsessed with Pipework". She can also be found online on Twitter at @handshedown. View all posts by handshedown

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