The expert on training search dogs said
the dogs should not suffer
the aftermath of disaster, they will not
show signs of post-traumatic stress,
that animals do not know one
building from another or associate
the pain of events with place. They do not
remember what happened on Tuesday. They do not
know when it's Tuesday.
They have no capacity
for the concept of days of the week—
as sad-eyed as a beagle may be.
And yet when dogs bark now
in pre-dawn, I shift in bed, uneasy, still,
thinking that I'd never heard the dogs
answer each other that way, thinking
that something is going on.
And yet, far back along the strong
wind that crosses the land
in its expected, natured direction, a disruption,
a chaos of starlings, season-bound,
peppers the air above a stripping maple
behind the gas station at the corner
of a crowded cross-
road where every radio
blares the words of panic and distrust.
These creatures shunted aside
to the gallery seats of life—they know
from minute changes in the algae,
the depletion of bugs, the alteration
of their own feathers, that it is time
to move: how can they not
know that something has happened?