To Sleep is to Dream by Mary Spofford French

Almost as soon as we turn off the lights 

at each side of our bed, Jack has parked 

the big green cattle truck next to the barn,

and he and a farmer have started walking 

up the hillside pasture in Campton again. 

The Holstein are not far off. They gather 

at the edge of a stand of trees. Watching. 

Now the border collie has decided. Jack 

does not belong. She crowds him and nips 

at his legs. Jack kicks back and lands

a sharp thump on my shin.   

Or ...

Maybe he has just dickered for the shoats 

in the board pen out back and under 

a different barn. The angry sow roars

as he grabs the first squealing young pig 

by the leg to lift it up and over the top 

board and the wire.  Outraged, her jaws 

wide and foaming, she charges. 


He is facing the bull again. 

The one that got loose and 

cornered him. 

I nudge him awake.

Mary Spofford French is a member of the Yogurt Poets [ aka : yo po ] of Concord, New Hampshire, some 30 years, published in some New Hampshire journals and included in  Anthology of New Hampshire Poets.