AUGUST MORNING
by Joan Colby

Every morning early, the dog and I
Walk to the front pasture.
First: her ablutions, then the discourse
Of obedience. The Sit. The Stay.

Which she performs simply to exhibit
Her mastery. Then half an hour
Of finding and fetching.
This morning, we startle a large hawk

In the grass with a ground squirrel
In its talons. It hurtles up
Tweed wing-spread, rusted tail feathers
Carrying off its prize and glaring

At us with telescopic scorn.
The dog, astonished forgets to bark
Just gazes as she does
At the stunt plane practicing its stalls,
In what appears like wonder.

Seven books published including The Lonely Hearts Killers, The Atrocity Book, etc. Over 980 poems in publications including Poetry, Atlanta Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The New York Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Epoch, etc. Two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards (one in 2008) and an IAC Literary Fellowship. Honorable mention in the 2008 James Hearst Poetry Contest—North American Review and the 2009 Editor’s Choice Contest–Margie, and finalist in the 2007 GSU (now New South) Poetry Contest, 2009 Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize, 2010 James Hearst Poetry Contest and Ernest J. Poetry Prize Joan Colby lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois with her husband and assorted animals.

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