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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press


By: Julie Nelson

Walking my dog at lunchtime

in rain,


from between two houses, a row

of mallards marched

across a neighbor’s lawn

single file—twelve

in all—following

the leader,

and stepped off the curb

on to a puddled street

on a mission

as my Lab sat down in the grass

to watch, her birding instincts

tempered by a steady shower

as she looked on with intention,

her whole being

invested in the procession,

her face alert, attentive even,

to what might happen


She never barked. She struck

Buddha pose and stayed

completely still, her eyes

brown ponds for ducks

to splash

down in warm pools

of light

as they crossed

to safety,


And here was the answer

to a question I’ve been asking,

how to be kind

in an uncertain world.


Julie R. Nelson is a poet and creative writer who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her poems and stories have appeared in Cathexis Northwest Press, Critical Reads, Passenger, Passager, and East by Northeast. She is currently working on several short stories and a collection of poems.


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