Zara Raab

A Hollow Way in County Devon

Looking at a photograph from Thorverton, England

Captured here in black and white, the path
a sunken road once made to mark the lines
between estates in prehistoric times,
the boundary lines unseen by us until
a pilot found the vantage of the air,
a curving berm, and now another view,
a close-up photo shows the dog who’s turned
his shaggy head to look at me as if
expecting that I’ll follow him between
these six-foot mossy banks made long ago
by briskly scooping up the loamy soil
and heaving it aside; a neighbor Celt
would do the same to mark his side and so
exhume a double ditch for carts a mule
or horse might draw, whose dung was fuel. My life
entire, I’ve made too much of views above,
the cities spread below, an alp ahead.
Even now, my walks to town fan out
to views of vinyl, steel, concrete. Let me,
instead, trail this sweet mutt along the way
between the earthy banks and ripening grain,
this pup in search of antique bones to gnaw!


Zara Raab’s books include Swimming the Eel and Fracas & Asylum. Her book reviews and poems appear in small magazines and newspapers, including The Hudson Review. She is a member of the Powow River Poets, a group based in the Boston area, and recently earned an M.F.A. She lives in Amesbury, Mass., north of Boston.

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