For Fly Boy

Across a little valley trembling
on the edge and cut through by roads,
the train makes its approach from
the east, parallel to the coast. 

Field mice scatter into holes
across the bluffs that lie along
its path.  A hunting hawk
is startled,  turns away.

A dog is frozen on the tracks
by fear, where people made boats
for the sea, and sealed them
by hand in a harbor of tar. 

The dog has been smelling the pitch
where it bubbles in pools on the path
to the beach; tar and eucalyptus,
kelp and the clean salt air.

He has crossed the tracks a thousand
times, but never with the train
so near.  His man won't leave him
there, the dog can't move

so they die together in the pleading
of brakes, as the driver's heart
and turns to join the circling hawk.
Copyright 1999 by Kyle Kimberlin
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