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Victoria Road by Will Reger

by Jonathon | 3.20.13

Infrared_Road_Dog_-_(1)

The boy on his way to school
Saw the earth eating a dog.
Black and brown, warm and sleek,
A lolling grin so like its kind:
It was killed by a car and
Fell among the roadside weeds
Without notice and was still.
How long did the earth dance on
Before the boy saw its muscles parsed
Away in trails of stench–a week?
Two weeks?  With moon and sun
Rushing to keep pace, the stars sliding
Out of her way, their milky bouquet
Stretched across the ballroom of night,
This boy peddled to and fro past
Those teeth grinning whiter now
That the earth had nibbled away,
Taking in the dog, one sip at a time.
He had heard stories how the earth
Will one day disgorge
Her long meal of the dead,
And later wished he had taken
A tooth or something to
Summon the dog when it rises.

_____________________________________
Reger PhotoWill Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri area. He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois and currently teaches history at Illinois State University. He lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife and two youngest children. He began writing poetry in the 7th grade and never quite stopped. He also plays the Native American Flute. He has recently had poems published in Fire in the Pasture and songs/cycles (and, of course, here on WIZ).

Photo: “Infrared Road Dog” by Mike Lewinski via Wikimedia Commons, 2012.

4 Responses to Victoria Road by Will Reger

  1. Patricia K

    I love this poem.

    Did I say I love this poem?

    I do.

    It profoundly echoes my own experiences of becoming acquainted with dead coyotes and other creatures-formerly-known-as-alive dissolving along favorite walk ways. Thanks for sending it here.

  2. Will Reger

    Patricia K: You are kind to say it. The poem is about riding my bike to summer band rehearsals in the summer between 6th and 7th grade, passing the carcass of a dog hit by a car. The smell stays with me today, as does the grin.

  3. Mark Penny

    the earth
    Will one day disgorge
    Her long meal of the dead

    Something to look forward to. I like the Miltonian Vikingness of those lines.

  4. Dayna

    The lines Mark Penny quotes above are my favorite. Nicely done!

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