Percival comes. If I pre­tend he is not here
He grows larger in the barn, fill­ing all the shad­ows,
And then I can­not go in to feed the cows

And I hear those who give milk cry­ing for milk
And I see their hearts, like children’s palms,
Opening and clos­ing in the gar­den. Even in win­ter

I keep the gar­den. And Percival, who never looks
At flow­ers, taps his fin­gers on the wa­ter
That has frozen in buck­ets in the barn.

I hear that tap­ping. Even as I heard him com­ing,
Last night through my sleep, through the snow,
His heavy black coat drop­ping like wings.

-Brigit Pegeen Kelly

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