Duy Doan

Hedgehog in the Fog

After Yuriy Norshteyn

(hedgehog)

He imagines the horse is powerful: How is it that
she is there in the fog?

But, her head
is in the clouds,

she is only partially
in the fog.

(owl)

Wise, not clever—
never had an original idea; imitates the hedgehog
the hedgehog;

talks to his other self in the well.
The echoes surprise him,
they surprise his other self.

(bat)

The magical bat:
the closest thing we have
to the butterfly.

(bear)

The bear is too much in the sun. He cannot count
the stars.

He is too slow to say much, too slow
to understand much,

yet talks a great deal, which both eases
and makes worse his anxiety.

(horse)

Noble.

There’s nothing as ethereal
as a spirit in a wood.

(dog)

Finds things,
returns them to their owner.

Is helpful, is friendly, provides
assurance.

(crocodile)

Is helpful.

(hedgehog)

The hedgehog can
count stars.

Duy Doan is the author of We Play a Game, winner of the 2017 Yale Series of Younger Poets. His work has appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Cortland Review, and elsewhere. A Kundiman fellow, he received an MFA in poetry from Boston University, where he serves as director of the Favorite Poem Project.
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