On the side of a hill in Henry County,
where a woodpile is stacked
against the guarantees of winter,
two rabbit dogs play
while a graveside service takes place
at the Church of the Brethren next door.
Sun floods the worn-down grass.
Children’s toys, happy plastic
mud spattered, scatter the yard.
The New Year is breathing
everywhere, every breath lifting
scrub pine and oak stick,
rattling the underpinnings of trailers
in foreground and background.
The dogs roll and roll.
And when they bite, they bite as brothers
do, with mouths made to cradle game.
They swipe each other with soft paws.