Just an open patch of ground.
The road dipped in a valley.
We had a throwing stick
for the dog’s yellow ball

and the dog looked over
her shoulder, mistaking it
for the setting autumn sun.
She chased it on the bounce.

There was an old cemetery
across the road, and rooks
that cawed from the high pines,
and larks, exhausted at sunset.

The days of light are passing
from this world. The dog wet
in a stream shook her coat dry
on us and made stars fly up.

Did the swallows abandon
the dilapidated grey barn
through which the sunlight
passed on its way to winter?

And did we leave something
of ourselves in that field,
the moment, the joy of being,
and mistake it all for heaven?

Bruce Meyer

Bruce Meyer is the author of 70 books of short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. His stories have won or been shortlisted for numerous national and international prizes including this year's Lynn Fraser Fiction Prize from Freefall, the Fish Fiction Prize (IRE), the Bath Short Story Prize, the Carter V. Cooper Prize for Fiction, and a special Editor's commendation from the Edinburgh Flash Fiction Prize, His most recent collections of fiction are "Toast Soldiers" (Crowsnest Books), "Down in the Ground" (Guernica Editions) and the forthcoming collection of flash fiction, "Sweet Things" (Mosaic Press), and a collection of longer stories, "Magnetic Dogs" (Guernica). With Michael Mirolla, he co-edited the forthcoming anthology, "This Will Only Take a Minute" (Guernica) which is the first Canadian anthology of flash fiction. He lives in Barrie, Ontario, and is Professor of Communications at Georgian College.