Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Un-Dog Poem

Ok, so I'm 6 hours late. But this is still my Monday post. :-)

My publisher at Salmon is putting together an anthology of dog poems called Dogs Singing and asked me for a poem. I don't have a dog, so I initially decided I'd forgo this one...but then realized that a dog anthology could have all sorts of dog poems, and the bigger the variety, the better.

This one's not quite finished, and I don't know if my publisher will like it or take it, but here goes:

The Un-Dog Poem

- for Jessie

This is not a poem about dogs.
This is also not a poem about cats,
and their terrible grace,
and the way they make any woman ungainly.

This is not a poem about
babies and their hungry mouths, mewling
through the night.

This is not a poem about
books, the fresh glue smell, and uncracked
spine of an unread novel.

If this were a poem about these things,
it would be a poem full of wishes,
and heartaches.

It would be a poem about the way

a dog looks, running along the hard-packed
sand of an Alaskan beach, April, long sun setting,
herding a flock of sandpipers and gulls—

symbolizing the old things
we all want—
joy, grace, spirit.

If this poem were about that dog,
it would be a poem of such longing,
and such regret.

And who has the time, anyway,
for such indulgences?

No comments: