revision of dog poem

so I’m not sure if we’re supposed to post revisions, but here’s one of my dog poem. hope its a little more cheery now:


Perhaps it was a bad idea, taking her

to my house for the week. I insisted;

“She’ll love it.” Dad frowned

and left the address of the beach house prefaced

with emergency vet numbers

and 24-hour kennels.

I envisioned wagging tails and long walks

but I couldn’t avoid the warning signs. Fur ruffled

along her shoulder blades as we passed under the

foreign door frame together. She searched the house

as if there had been some mistake; there was no doggy door,

there wasn’t even a fireplace. Perhaps I should not have ignored

the quiet cries as I helped four tired legs

up the unusually uncarpeted stairs.

But I could have sworn

I saw her black beagle lips form a soundless smile,

thanking me every time I reappeared in view.

The first to come under attack were the bedposts,

carefully whittled to jagged edges. She had autographed

my chair legs by the second day, scrawling her name

with hundreds of tiny teeth marks along the dresser

and desk posts. I let her take over

the room, but it was not until she found

the purse from New York that became supper

and the shoes from Paris for desert

followed by presents scattered to every corner

that I surrendered and packed up the car for home. She watched

knowing where we were going, her tail

beating against the passenger seat like a pulse

as we pulled onto the highway.

“She’s just old,” my mother said. “you know

she can’t be away from the house.”

I should have known

she couldn’t be away from the house, and yet

somewhere between Fredericksburg and DC

between the reassuring pets and promises of her bed

I thanked her for her inability to change.

The car went into park as her nose left its last smudge on the window

and we both smiled as we unlocked the front door

and went from room to room, turning on all the familiar lights.

One Response to “revision of dog poem”

  1. Ryan says:


    there’s no confusion in this one–all happy thoughts.