Donald Berk


The ram is making a fuss. Some goats
Got out. Three Boers, small ones, squeezed
Under the fence. One snout finds
Slack wire and the others follow. They bleat
Like Sanhedrin probing the law. Heaven’s
Always on the other side, even if
It’s the neighbor’s deadly
Rhododendrons. Now the three graze
Along the fence but you
Can’t herd them to the gate without
The dog. A loose nanny reads
Your next move like Bobby
Fischer. The flat brown eyes mask
A canny insolence until she
Curls her lips at you. But the dog doesn’t
Take any crap, as
My father would say. He was
A goat— a Capricorn.
We moved house eight times in
As many years. He died at number
Eight else it might have been more. The dead
Hold a lot of power. Just last night I dreamed
My mother motioned me into the back
Seat of Father’s big Buick where he
Sat at the wheel smoking
A cigar. She was a Pisces, so eager
To please. Maybe she
Still does on the other side. Maybe
They want me under the fence.


Donald Berk relocated to Yakima from Illinois after a career in tech biz. He returned to school at age 60 to indulge two dreams: an MFA in writing (Bennington) and a commercial pilot rating. As a volunteer for Tieton Arts & Humanities he has been fortunate to help sponsor LitFuse since its inception. His novella, In Search of Wings Lost, a riff on Attar’s epic medieval poem, “The Conference of the Birds”, was published in 2007.


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