Poem: ‘Dog in the Tomb’

Jim Harrison was an artist, author, and poet. This piece, a recollection of a biblical dream, appears in Alta Journal’s Fall 2021 issue.

jim harrison
Joe Ciardiello

My seventy-seventh Easter.
What luck. I dreamt I was in the tomb
with Jesus. He was very cold because he was
dead. But not for long. Christ the Lord
is risen today. Hallelujah. I was in a
corner wrapped in a robe. I called for Cain
the little dog that had spent forty days
in the wilderness with Jesus. He came over
for a few minutes to warm me up
and then faithfully went back to the Savior.
I wondered if I’d be here until I was bones.
Suddenly there was a clap of thunder and a blinding
flash of light. Jesus and the dog were gone
and I was sitting on the bank of the River Jordan.
This is not scripture it’s a dream,
a dream, the stuff our life is made of.•

© 2021 James T. Harrison Trust. Excerpted from Jim Harrison: Complete Poems, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press on October 26, 2021.

This poem appears in the Fall 2021 issue of Alta Journal.
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