Donkeys also make good guard animals.

posted Apr 8, 2006

There may be 13 ways of looking at a blackbird, but that was before Heisenberg. I can't bear how his principle changes everything. When it comes to hearing a donkey, if her name is Juanita out of nowhere her voice swings, a gate that hasn't opened in years. To hear is luck, the best sort of luck. Dumb luck. A triumph, her absurd noise shoehorned into the morning's certain desperation. Jack hammers, blue jays, the bass line banging from the neighbor boy's garage band undisturbed. Garbage truck grumbles down the street. Mad, crazy day. It is enough, of an instant, Juanita's crass sound foregrounded bears some momentary miracle more believable than angels. It is enough, the frozen hinge loosened, the hasp giving way with a groan. Once opened some gates cannot remain shut. This is good in a strange way and strange in a good way.

But not 13 ways. Likely, more.

Sally Ashton is the author of Her Name is Juanita, These Metallic Days, and Some Odd Afternoon. These poems appear in Some Odd Afternoon, which is forthcoming from BlazeVOX.

Ashton is editor of the DMQ Review, and blogs at Poetry on a Stick.

We’ve published five more poems by Ashton: “Rapture,” “Same donkey, different blanket.,” “Christ,” “Litany,” and “This Lonesome.”