Dogs 2010

BIANNUAL RITES
(5/24/10)


I clean
out the guttering
about the roof
in late Spring
and again
at the end
of Fall

in May
a layer
of oak
and pecan catkins
covers
the lower
stratum

in November
dead leaves
drained of color
from both big trees
form a brown
crisp blanket
warming that
below

at the
bottom
of the metal trays
in either season
is a strange mixture
of decaying flora
and asphalt shingle
runoff

a dark
noisome paste
frequented
by ants
spiders
and other insects
not as easily
identifiable

they muck
about
and make
a life
in matter
better suited
for a burial

in fact
twice
a year
I feel as if
I am preparing
a fresh grave
for the death
and its
feeders
yet
to come

for over
seven years now
I have performed
this ritual
wondering
each time
how many
more funerals
I will prepare
before
my own

for a house
of over seventy
years old
people
are the primary
decay
of its
existence