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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