Grave of a Dog, by Jeff Vollmer

Buttery sun melts down, into white fog,
that bathed the shaggy meadow, last night long.
Grave of a dog,
in lone green cove, coral flowers bloom strong,
at the end of the path fresh mowed belongs—

some grander monument of life well lived.
Instead, there is a pile of turned dirt, me,
disturbed by the sights I can and can’t see,
asking, answers—wet worms, muddy.

Each day in this meadow life swarms all ’round.
Bugs cascade from earth and trek or try flight.
Air throbs with sound.
Vibrato throats, legs, wings, bones, days, and nights—
critters searching for life in life’s brief light.

Explosions of green blast out from the ground.
From above, small birds chant ancestral songs.
Kingdoms, sans crowns.
Claws, scales, fur, feathers, and blossoms all throng—
in millions of years, who here still belongs.

For now, sweet winds, blow out over your grave,
apart, of this meadow, edged by old trees.
Green ocean waves.
Cradled by springy brown roots and now free,
we bid thee farewell, and following seas.


—Published 21st of May 2023


About Jeff Volmer

Jeff Vollmer’s work has been published in Broken Plate, Cider Press Review, Louisiana Literature, and Voices de la Luna. He graduated with a degree in English and creative writing from Middlebury College. Jeff lives with his wife, three kids, and dog and cat in New York’s Hudson Valley.