I built the pen to have the wild
Wear out. Rails bolted tight; water
Troughed to the brim, to leave overnight

The young, the quarantined, the yet
To be determined. Come morning do not
Expect the known; you were not there,

Let them sort without you, dominion
Never goes well, cannot hold long
The eye of the contained. Approach

With held-out arms then turn as if to leave,
Walk away, but stop again when followed. You and the animal
Having it out, both holding both: the rope

In your hand to do and undo what must be
Gone through: the breakdown, the repair.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 42 Number 2, on page 31
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