New Animals

Waking one morning
we cannot find
Kate or Wesley,
or his cows and sheep,
or the hens she looks
after. In my dream
we spend all morning
looking for their old
bodies in tall grass
beside barn
and henyard. Finally
we discover them,
marching up the dirt
road from Andover—
excited, laughing, waving
to catch our attention
as they shepherd
new animals
home to the farm.
They traded Holsteins
and Rhode Island Reds
for zebras, giraffes,
apes, and tigers. They lead
their parade back
to the barn, and the sheep-
dog ostrich
nips at the errant
elephant’s heels
and goads the gaudy
heroic lions
and peacocks that keen
AIEE AIEE.

-Donald Hall