Elysium

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 author or editor of 64 books of poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, non-fiction, and literary journalism. He is the 2019 winner of the Anton Chekhov Prize for Flash Fiction, the Freefall Prize for Poetry, and was a finalist in the Tom Gallon Trust Fiction Prize and the Bath Short Story Prize. His most recent books are McLuhan's Canary (Guernica Editions) and Pressing Matters: The Story of Black Moss Press (Black Moss Press). Both will appear in October. His previous books include The First Taste: New and Selected Poems (Black Moss Press, 2018) and the short story collection, A Feast of Brief Hopes (Guernica Editions, 2018). A book of essays about his works will appear in 2020 along with a collection of flash fiction, Down in the Ground (both from Guernica Editions). He lives in Barrie, Ontario.