Mary Oliver

Benjamin, Who Came From
Who Knows Where

What shall I do?
When I pick up the broom
     he leaves the room.
When I fuss with kindling he
     runs for the yard.
Then he’s back, and we
     hug for a long time.
In his low-to-the-ground chest
     I can hear his heart slowing down.
Then I rub his shoulders and
     kiss his feet
and fondle his long hound ears.
     Benny, I say,
don’t worry. I also know the way
     the old life haunts the new.