Integer Vitae - Poem by Katha Pollitt

Integer Vitae
Katha Pollitt

The beautiful gray dog
loping across the lawn
all afternoon for the sheer joy
of summertime,

bees at their balm, the dragonfly
asleep on a raspberry leaf—
that's how we'd live
if living were enough

innocent, single-hearted
like the mourning dove who's called
his mate in the cool dawn
from one pine for a thousand years.

These do not wake in tears
nor does deception drive them
down to the blue pond
where the beaver, prince

of chaos, who appeared
alone as if from nowhere
is tirelessly constructing
his dark palace of many rooms.

Source: The Paris Review
Fall 2003
Issue 167