A Rush of Clouds

by Laurel K. Dodge
The Writer's Block
Third Place, April 2009
Judged by Duncan Mercredi

Night after night, you pry your dog off
your wife then try to mold your body

to hers, never wondering what it must be like
to be that small, to be a whole, contained

world, that, despite your best attempts
to gain entry remains impenetrable.

In the secretive dark, plums fall.
You, who refuse to eat bruised fruit.

You, who cover your ears during thunder
storms. In his dreams, your dog trembles

and growls. Each morning, she looks
into your face as if she was searching

the sky for stars. Each morning, you survey
your perfect little garden as if you were god.

Last night, you paused to look out the window
and saw the moon, obscured then revealed

by a rush of clouds. Your dog digs a hole
under the fence and doesn’t come back

when called. You pick up what you view
as ruined fruit. Your wife will eat the windfall.

I'm not sure why I chose this piece, but it touched me. It left me with wanting to know more. What is the story between these (star-crossed lovers, perhaps) individuals that one would want the other to experience the windfall of bruised fruit? So many questions and the piece leaves one's imaginations to seek the truth between the lines. One question, was the dog jealous? --Duncan Mercredi