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PoetrySpring 2020

The Dogcatchers Visit the Reservoir – WLS

There is a reservoir here, where they live now,
whose kidney-shaped lobe is bifurcated
by a two-lane causeway. There is a gravel lot where
they park their truck and hike down to the water.
On the way they nestle the coin of St. Bartholomew,
patron saint of nervous diseases, inside the cavity
of a tree. One says: Perhaps this is where the squirrels
like to pray. The other: Or would pray, if they required
such a place. Other such small tokens have been offered here:
geode hunks, a chipped figurine of the Virgin Mary,
a twisted orthodox cross, bundled yarrow and sage.

What they wanted from the beach that day
was a small, perfectly circular slice of petrified crinoid,
churned up from the bottom of the reservoir
by the turning pedals of electric boats pawing the water.
They stirred many piles of wet leaves. But the lake
was swollen from February rain, gigalitres of dirty water
licking the banks. On the way home, one told the other
about Will Souder, who tethered himself to his
hot water heater with a soft, brown leather belt
and waited, likely drunk, for the valley to fill.
Watched as the cinderblock walls of the cellar started to sweat.


WLS is a poet. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University Bloomington. Her first book, Psychogynecology, was published by Monster House Press in 2015. Her work can be found many places, including poets.org and The Portland Review. Other poems about The Dogcatchers can be found in the anthology Undeniable, published by Alternating Currents Press.

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