It was just a short little poem in The New Yorker last week. And it had a title that didn’t interest me at all: Pescadero. Is that a place? Dunno. I usually skip the poetry anyway, but this one’s first line stopped me:

“The little goats like my mouth and fingers,” the poem began.

Goats and me on the Dales Way in England last summer

Goats and me on the Dales Way in England last summer

If you’ve ever fallen in love with baby goats running towards you in a field, you know what a sweetness there is to their goaty little faces. They’re so friendly, so frisky (unlike lambs, who generally run away). I’ve encountered goats mostly on hiking trips – in France, Italy and even Morocco.

I ripped out the page. I keep reading the poem over and over. I keep smiling.

And – this is where our digital lives make these things so easy – I finally wrote poet Mark Doty an email telling him how happy this small thing has made me. I’ve never written fan mail to any author in my life – and certainly not to a poet.

I can’t reproduce the poem here; I’m sure it’s copyrighted. But you can read it online at The New Yorker. And if you’d like to hear Mark Doty speak about the importance of poetry and literature in the world, you can listen to a talk he gave at the Key West Literary Seminar in January, 2008.

Excuse me, I think I’ll go read that poem again. Is there something that calls you to read over and over?