I was mowing the lawn, thinking of the smell of grass and wondering what it might be like if every few months someone took a blade to the top of the world. I heard the screech of tires and a thud and looked over to see the neighbour’s dog dead on the road. The driver was distraught, of course, who wouldn’t be, it was a beautiful dog even at a glance through a car window. I walked over and the smell of metal filled my nose and the driver got out and we stood there staring at the dead dog. “Oh God oh God what have I done,” he said. “I think you’ve killed it,” I said, softening the blow of what was obvious to everyone. The aforementioned God, the birds overhead, the flies already making plans, the driver, and I. “But you don’t know the half of it,” I said. “What, what is the half of it I don’t know, how can this be worse?” he said. “That wasn’t just any dog, it was a seeing eye dog. You’ve done more damage than you can imagine, how do you feel?” The driver’s eyes looked like the swell of the ocean and they carried themselves off the road and knocked on my neighbours door and explained the situation. I sat down and had a beer. The air became wet, though the sound of crying was too abstract to place. I decided the lawn would go on like this, half mowed. This was enough for one day.
Tyler Engström‘s first full-length collection of poetry, Think of How Old We Could Get, is forthcoming from Frontenac House in Fall 2021. He lives in Calgary, Canada, and if you live there you’re a cowboy, so he’s a cowboy. Yeehaw.
image: Lindsay Hargrave