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Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen

Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt

Where can I go
without my mount
all eager and quick
How will I know
in thicket ahead
is danger or treasure
when Body my good
bright dog is dead

How will it be
to lie in the sky
without roof or door
and wind for an eye

With cloud for shift
how will I hide?

— May Swenson

from May Swenson: Collected Poems, Library of America.

© 1954, 2000 May Swenson.

Used with permission of the Literary Estate of May Swenson. All rights reserved.

Poetry 180

About the Poet

May Swenson (1913–1989) is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Collected Poems (Library of America, 2013). Swenson worked as an editor at New Directions Publishing from 1959 to 1966. She died in 1989.

Learn more about May Swenson at The Poetry Foundation.