Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pescadero - Mark Doty poem from last night's SAL event


 Mark Doty read this poem explaining that "Pescadero" is the town in Northern California where this goat farm is located. He mentioned that this was published in a "national magazine" and that he received a letter from a first grade teacher who wrote her first graders were delighted with the poem as the class visits this goat farm on a field trip every year. The first graders enjoyed reminiscing about their trip, said the teacher. Doty was clearly moved by this -- his poem had led the students to memory.


The little goats like my mouth and fingers,

and one stands up against the wire fence, and taps on the fence board
a hoof made blacker by the dirt of the field,

pushes her mouth forward to my mouth,
so that I can see the smallish squared seeds of her teeth, and the bristle-whiskers,

and then she kisses me, though I know it doesn’t mean “kiss,”

then leans her head way back, arcing her spine, goat yoga,
all pleasure and greeting and then good-natured indifference: she loves me,

she likes me a lot, she takes interest in me, she doesn’t know me at all
or need to, having thus acknowledged me. Though I am all happiness,

since I have been welcomed by the field’s small envoy, and the splayed hoof,
fragrant with soil, has rested on the fence board beside my hand.


  1. Flavors of James Wright's "A Blessing"...

  2. Yes, I thought so, too. Great minds!

  3. This was Andy's favorite poem of the evening. Doty is excellent at introducing his poems, always adding something that increases the listener's enjoyment of the piece.

  4. Hi Lana, I had puzzled over the "Pescadero" reference in the poem. What's the link between fish and goats? So glad I can let that one go!