the days grow long and you know you should go outside

to walk in the rain, feel the moon, get a good sun spank,

and sweat in the shadow of shade trees

while children play in the grass


instead, days are long, dawn and noon and sunset

slip between the blinds, clock hands point to gloom

at the end of pen that you use to sign your name

on a piece of paper a boy will find one day

on the way home


it will flap in the street before the pile of a building

where workers with rough hands chip mortar from brick

the boy will try to make sense of the long sentences, the marks,

try to imagine the person the name represents

then, he will drop that paper back into the gutter and wander

off to make his marks


the long days will grow short and you’ll want to go outside

to hear bird songs, run your hands over the ribs of your lover,

kiss children playing in the leaves, rise from the shade into autumn sunset

to step into what’s been dug for you

and dance


Published by

Patrick Dobson

Patrick Dobson was founded in 1962. He is a writer, scholar, ironworker, and poet who lives in Kansas City, MO. He is author of two books with the University of Nebraska Press, Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plains (2009) and Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer (May 2015). Dobson is a work in progress until termination.

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