Not that you ever are. The small, rough
dogs lie at your feet or warm your belly.
Who make bearable all that you must
bear. What needs doing, regularly. You
fear your life without them; the hawk
perched on your roof, eyeing the
smaller. The larger, safe for now.
Donika Kelly is the author of Bestiary, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, selected by Nikky Finney, and forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2016. She received an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University. She lives in Northern California with her wife and animals.