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"Instinct Control" by John Zedolik


Those two beagles would run
             if they could (forget us!)

out of the coop
across the yard
over the creek
             and up into the woods

dreaming of soft rabbits on the run
or pheasants in brushy flight 

to close in jaws 
that knew their own pressure—

never to be seen again by us,
the captors and feeders,

hunting on the mountain
for no masters,

licensing their own seasons

             if we would raise the gate
             six inches more over the dish
             and dented water bowl,

but we did not.

They ended, still and fed without the natural chase.



For the past five years, John Zedolik has been and adjunct English instructor at a number of universities in and around Pittsburgh. He has published poems in such journals as Aries, The Bangalore Review (IND), Commonweal, FreeXpresSion(AUS), Orbis (UK), Paperplates (CAN), Poem, Poetry Salzburg Review (AUT), Third Wednesday, Transom, and in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In June of 2019, he published a full-length collection, entitled Salient Points and Sharp Angles (CW Books), which is available through Amazon.  John’s iPhone continues to be his primary poetry notebook, and he hopes his use of technology in regard to this ancient art form remains fruitful.

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