Thursday, November 22, 2012

Animals Assume

Animals Assume

Hunger means
seek food with your nose
and eat what you find.
Follow warmth
and light.
Tuck your legs
beneath your own
warmth, bring your face
to the floor. Let your body
do the body’s work,
if there is pain,
bring it to your tongue.
All of this happens
in one long day,
today you sleep,
today you wake
and urinate and eat,
today you see a spider
and smack it with your paw,
today you watch snowflakes
from the window,
today you hide
from strange sounds,
you get more and more
of today and your hunger
returns to tell you
you should eat.


  1. Sounds like a typical day for me. Every action listed is directly or symbolically present in my life.

  2. I love the assured rhythm, and the easing and gracing into a new take on what is after all the only genuine animal holiday.

  3. Hi Hannah,

    I read the linked article. Still sad, thinking of two things, including a poor cat hit by a car and left by the side of the road, and found in our driveway. "If there is pain, bring it to your tongue," is a powerful line, made deeper by having read the article. The pacing of this poem works perfectly with its imagery and themes. I wish I could take one of your poetry classes, to find out if it is magic you possess, which I suspect; or if some of what you do is a skill that others can learn. Perhaps you should write a book (?) Seriously, though, I believe the best poets, like you, employ an internal "grace" that cannot be duplicated, where each poem is channeled through a unique perspective and voice.

  4. Nice job of putting the brakes on Mr. Sentimentality, who keeps trying to enter, till you say things like "urinate."

    As a Class D Minor League birder, I marvel at the work of critters pretty much every day. The nuthatch and chickadee take each seed from the feeder to a tree, whack it, eat it, return. I lose ten pounds every day just watching them. (I'm now at Minus 83 weight; some call me Ariel).


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