The Tower Journal

Jean C. Howard

Buff's Collar

It still rings
after nine years snuggled
deep in earth.
Its bell chirps
summer, limbs, and leaves.

It rings
of trust and daily
and combed deep furrows
in orange fur.

In my hand
it mocks my living,
chimes betrayal,
clangs a warning: coyotes
drifting across the hill.

This bell
tells too much,
jutting outward
from its collar,
stiff with weather, mud, and kill.

Still the tag
calls out my name,
bronzed with soil,
as they dig
in back for the brand-
new shed,

Sod split open—
this long-lost yield.

Copyright © 2014 Jean C. Howard

Jean HowardAward-winning video and performance poet, organizer, producer, and participant in the original development of the internationally-acclaimed, “Poetry Slam," Jean Howard has poetry published in over one hundred publications, including Harper's Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Spoken Word Revolution, and her own book, Dancing In Your Mother's Skin (Tia Chucha Press).

She has performed her poetry on cable, public and network television and at hundreds of venues nationwide, from the Guggenheim’s exhibit at Chicago’s Field Museum, to biker bars.

Jean has served on the Advisory Board of Utah Arts Alliance and Brolly Arts, after serving as Director of Chicago’s National Poetry Video Festival for eight years, and having her award-winning videos featured on PBS and festivals around the nation.

The Tower Journal
Spring/Summer 2014