Fur Certain  

an American mink cannot be positively
identified without seeing its skeleton,
but if it has no white patch on
its chin, it aint English.

i have touched the white on your black
chin like it was a power switch
that i could never turn off.  

they warned me on you- said you came
from Eastern Kentucky. most of the stress
landed on the word East.  

it used to be you could bring in five dollars
a pelt, you told me; now nobody is buying.

you released a coon had been trapped three
days in a cage to your father-and-son German
Shepherds, in broad daylight.

the dogs did not compete, they took turns,
working as a team, unconcerned with how
long, just like we did, before the weather

the undercoat is where you find the thickest
fur, and lush. it is the most practical part to
use for a coat.

we were warm the night you lay down
in your garage and cried because
i had given you a globe, so you could see
where you had been all your life.  

my eyes were wet too. i laid on you
to keep warm. we made a pile,
working outwards, from belly
to torso.