Living Room Sestina

by Rachel Thomas



Yellow light flows from the window.
Sitting on a large armchair, the child
watches a broadcast about a war
far away. And at her feet, an old dog
with a jumbled mind, runs in his sleep and cries,
unaware he is loved.

The dog awakens. Biting a toy he has loved
for years, he glances out the window.
In the yard, the wind softly cries.
And sitting on the armchair, the child
comforts the anxious dog,
as his body and mind fight the war

of old age. Meanwhile the far away war
rages, on a land that has been loved
for thousands of years. And a far away dog
sleeps under its favorite window,
unaware that it may shatter. And a child
sleeps, now used to the cries

of the ravaged land. The kettle cries
as morning breaks. The war
sounds like morning to the child
who can’t remember a time before. The loved
house awakens. And the window
breaks, upsetting the dog.

Back in the living room, the old dog
hears soft muffled cries
from the television: a window
into a terrible far away war
where land and houses are loved
by another dog and another child.

Far away parents pick up the child,
and kiss and hold the dog,
and leave the house they loved,
amidst bombs and cries,
avoiding the eyes of the war,
leaving through hope’s window.

The child finally cries.
And the dog barks. Both fighting the war
of anguish within them, for the land that they loved and left through the window.


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