Outside Marshall, Texas
for Michael Shannon Todd 1967–2011
The field that you loved was unkempt.
You and I walked it daily together,
our dogs chasing each other in mad joy.
Your dog was black and rangy.
My dog was white and smaller.
Braiding together, they kept an eye on us
as we talked in the October winds.
It was always about our next meal.
I loved watching you prepare.
The knives and the spoons danced
on your counter and stove top, conjuring
the drama of aromas onstage.
The heart of your meals made me ache
like a worn thread threatening to snap.
The skies are dark in Texas,
but at least you’re not alone up there.
Raymond Luczak is the author of four poetry collections, the latest two titles being Road Work Ahead (Sibling Rivalry Press) and Mute (A Midsummer Night’s Press). A playwright and filmmaker, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is at www.raymondluczak.com.