Chapter Excerpt

FIRST TIME PERCY CAME BACK

The first time Percy came back
he was not sailing on a cloud.
He was loping along the sand as though
he had come a great way.
“Percy,” I cried out, and reached to him—
 

those white curls—
but he was unreachable. As music
is present yet you can’t touch it.
“Yes, it’s all different,” he said.
“You’re going to be very surprised.”
But I wasn’t thinking of that. I only
wanted to hold him. “Listen,” he said.
“I miss that too.
And now you’ll be telling stories
 

of my coming back
and they won’t be false, and they won’t be true,
but they’ll be real.”
And. then, as he used to, he said, “Let’s go!”
And we walked down the beach together.
 



Excerpted from Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
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