• A Beagle Roundelay

    Annie Woodford

    Summer 2018

    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.
    A hymn rises around them,
    though, being dogs, they don’t need song.

    Instead they stop and scent a wildness
    weaving the timber

    Annie Woodford’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Greensboro Review, the Southern Review, Nashville Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. In 2017 she was awarded the Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia Poets and was the Rona Jaffe Foundation Poetry Scholar at Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her first collection is forthcoming from Groundhog Poetry Press.

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