From Touch Earth, published by Guernica in 2006.
M. Travis Lane is an award-winning writer who lives in Fredericton.
No one explains things to dogs.
The voice that’s missing
has left its aroma everywhere,
along with the faint stale smells of those
who used to be here:
who owned that chair, but never comes
coiling out from under the couch
the way the present cat still does,
those other dogs
who rubbed the couch wool shiny
with their dreams,
but never sit up night to speak
at a stranger’s step—
But mightn’t they come?
There’s no asking the cat. He sits
stolid along the window sill
watching time drip down the pane.
Three yards away a terrier
shrieks at the Coming Home of One
who comes each day about this time.
But the cars that pass
are never ours,
and the smells grow grainy, cold.