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Time of Need

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In the road, a dog. Days dead,
that dog. Liliana was walking beside me awhile
(I am sure) and I was almost not crying but then found

what I was looking for.
She heaved it for me—all of it, the stench, the weight—
in her thin arms until it was too much.

Tired, she dragged the thing by its wasted paws
all the way home. Her dress was stained. This is how

I learned about love. She did not mind at all
the silent, steady distance I placed between us.

Source: Poetry (November 2011)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

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Time of Need

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  • Allison Seay was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1980. She earned a BA in English at Mary Washington College (now University of Mary Washington) in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 2002 and an MFA in poetry from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2005. Her honors include publication in such journals as Crazyhorse, the Southern Review, Meridian, Arts and Academe, and Pleiades. Her first book manuscript is under consideration and was a semi-finalist for Tupelo Press's First/Second Book Award. She has enjoyed two retreats at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in Amherst, Virginia. She worked for several years at UNC Greensboro, as assistant director of the MFA Program and associate Editor of the Greensboro Review. She has taught at both UNC Greensboro, Greensboro College, and at Lynchburg College before moving back to Richmond, Virginia.

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