Home > The Crowd > Balcony View of a Prairie Dog Colony

Balcony View of a Prairie Dog Colony

September 30, 2010

by Scott Wiggerman

You don’t see a one at first.
Then, one becomes two, five, twenty,
a hoard of dirt-colored dogs.

A bird caws. You don’t see it either.
Are you missing multitudes
lurking like weeds in the field?
It caws again, and dozens of dogs
disguised by brush and dust
scatter like seeds into the ground,
mounds like tiny volcanic burps,
dozens, you now observe.

Prairie dogs pop back up,
jack-in-the-boxes, brown sock puppets
poking scrawny bodies about.
Three stand, sentinels at one burrow,
tails like clipped wicks;
a pair at another, a set of souvenir-stand
salt-and-pepper shakers
with ears like afterthoughts.

The field fills with scurrying.
An hour goes by. Another.
You can’t keep up.
How much else
has escaped your notice?

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Scott Wiggerman (website) is the author of two books of poetry, Vegetables and Other Relationships and Presence, forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press. A frequent workshop instructor, he is also an editor for Dos Gatos Press, publisher of the annual Texas Poetry Calendar, now in its thirteenth year.

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  1. September 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Excellent. I love the line “ears like afterthoughts” — both for its whimsy and for its rhythm and sounds.

  2. October 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm


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