If Dogs Should Come

by Bill Yarrow

if dogs should come
do not run
do not turn
do not fall down
keep even pace
face front
don't stop
be deaf to danger
make secrets of your steps
don't run
make silence with yourself
no screams
decelerate your breathing
reprove the heart
for beating fast
admonish silly gasps
it is the air
cold at your eyes
night by your arms
fear in your veins
keep pace
face front
the pinching blackness
will not rend you
the tearing barking
cannot maim you
the awful silence
will not eat you
your sacred body
cannot die