The black dog in the yard
is darkness visible.
She is a nothing
drifting through a wider nothing.
The golden-hazed lawn is gone,
the plums and apples, disappeared.
The stars and moon are lost
in the dying elm.
The only light is the light that falls
from a window
into the burning bush.
I hear the clatter of dishes in the sink,
but I can’t go in,
and you won’t come out.
The glass is black where you are.
The dog, a shade herself,
settles in the shadow
beneath the window,
waiting to see if I’ll stay or go.
Ann Shaffer’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Free State Review, and elsewhere. Her essays, reviews, and stories have been published in a variety of outlets. She has written and edited many books on technology and science.