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The Undeniable Pressure of Existence

Patricia Fargnoli
Patricia Fargnoli
  • I saw the fox running by the side of the road
  • past the turned-away brick faces of the condominiums
  • past the Citco gas station with its line of cars and trucks
  • and he ran, limping, gaunt, matted dull haired
  • past Jim’s Pizza, past the Wash-O-Mat,
  • past the Thai Garden, his sides heaving like bellows
  • and he kept running to where the interstate
  • crossed the state road and he reached it and he ran on
  • under the underpass and beyond it past the perfect
  • rows of split-levels, their identical driveways
  • their brookless and forestless yards,
  • and from my moving car, I watched him,
  • helpless to do anything to help him, certain he was beyond
  • any aid, any desire to save him, and he ran loping on,
  • far out of his element, sick, panting, starving,
  • his eyes fixed on some point ahead of him,
  • some possible salvation
  • in all this hopelessness, that only he could see.

Patricia Fargnoli, the New Hampshire Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2009, has published four books and three chapbooks of poetry. Her latest book, Then, Something, co-won the New England Poetry Club’s Shelia Mooton Award, won ForeWord Magazine’s Silver Poetry Book Award, was an honorable mention for the Eric Hoffer Awards, and was a finalist for the New Hampshire Literary Poetry Book Award. A retired clinical social worker, she has published widely in literary journals and is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and an honorary BFA degree from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. “The Undeniable Pressure of Existence” is from her collection Duties of the Spirit, published by Tupelo Press in 2005. Her poem is reprinted with permission.

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Patricia Fargnoli
Patricia Fargnoli
  • I saw the fox running by the side of the road
  • past the turned-away brick faces of the condominiums
  • past the Citco gas station with its line of cars and trucks
  • and he ran, limping, gaunt, matted dull haired
  • past Jim’s Pizza, past the Wash-O-Mat,
  • past the Thai Garden, his sides heaving like bellows
  • and he kept running to where the interstate
  • crossed the state road and he reached it and he ran on
  • under the underpass and beyond it past the perfect
  • rows of split-levels, their identical driveways
  • their brookless and forestless yards,
  • and from my moving car, I watched him,
  • helpless to do anything to help him, certain he was beyond
  • any aid, any desire to save him, and he ran loping on,
  • far out of his element, sick, panting, starving,
  • his eyes fixed on some point ahead of him,
  • some possible salvation
  • in all this hopelessness, that only he could see.

Patricia Fargnoli, the New Hampshire Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2009, has published four books and three chapbooks of poetry. Her latest book, Then, Something, co-won the New England Poetry Club’s Shelia Mooton Award, won ForeWord Magazine’s Silver Poetry Book Award, was an honorable mention for the Eric Hoffer Awards, and was a finalist for the New Hampshire Literary Poetry Book Award. A retired clinical social worker, she has published widely in literary journals and is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and an honorary BFA degree from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. “The Undeniable Pressure of Existence” is from her collection Duties of the Spirit, published by Tupelo Press in 2005. Her poem is reprinted with permission.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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