This poem started out being about a walk Stu and I took. I realized as I copied it out for the second draft (I still draft in longhand, and probably always will) that the second half was not only a separate poem, it was the poem. The first half of the poem existed to get me — not the reader, only me — to the second half. The second half became the whole. That meant eliminating a lot of material, including most of the image that sparked the poem; it survives as half a line.
Dog in Arabesque
In the kitchen I wait for the dryer to buzz
And think about who I am and have been:
The girl on her back in the aluminum motorboat
Watching bald eagles circle the noon sun;
The woman who still loves baseball
And never learned to swim
And is slowly becoming her mother,
A thing you can never know.
I reach into the tumbler and pull out
An armload of walking socks and faded underthings,
See in their scent a wolfhound caught
In the arabesque of a kissing gate,
And my grandmother who taught me
To hide these things on the inside of a line.