COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
CALLER: Cloudburst and steady downpour now
COUNSELOR: So you’re calling to talk about the weather?
CALLER: for days.
COUNSELOR: Right. If you want to talk to days, I may need to transfer you to another counselor when my shift ends.
CALLER: Still mammal,
COUNSELOR: That’s correct. I don’t think we have any birds or reptiles working today.
CALLER: straw-footed on the mud,
COUNSELOR: I don’t know what shoes the other counselor will be wearing.
CALLER: he begins to sense the weather / by his skin.
COUNSELOR: Um, yes. If you go out in the rain, your skin will feel it.
CALLER: A nimble snout of flood
COUNSELOR: So there’s rain up your nose?
CALLER: licks over stepping-stones
COUNSELOR: So you’ve got a dog out in the rain? They love that.
CALLER: and goes uprooting.
COUNSELOR: So you need to get him out of your garden. Do you have any dog treats?
CALLER: He fords
COUNSELOR: No—you want him out of the garden, but don’t encourage him to chase cars.
CALLER: his life by
COUNSELOR: Yeah, it could risk his life. Can you call him? What’s his name?
COUNSELOR: You mean Sounder? Like in the book?
COUNSELOR: That’s a strange name for a dog, but OK.
From “Gifts of Rain” by Seamus Heaney