Poetry Friday

Earlier this week, I shared the following poem with my class.  It really hit home with them and we read it a few times over the last few days.  It brings tears to my eyes every single time.


from. . . Unleashed: Poems by Writers’ Dogs,
Edited by Amy Hempel and Jim Shepard. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1995.

R. SJones


You paused outside
to look into my cage.
I tried to play it right
wanting to catch your eye
with a shy glint in my own,
a soft bark,
that said, “Choose me,”
in a canine grammar
I hoped you’d understand.
Your face held nothing
(Pity maybe)
that let me believe
you would ever want
a dog like me.
You turned once,
a hundred times,
coming and going
the length of my cage.
(Coming and going
like you do now,
ten times a day.)
Then walked away.
I could not stand another day of
strangers coming to stare.
Passing me over for younger dogs who
knew too little to have the strange
look of longing
I could not keep from my eyes.
I could not stand another night
alone in that place
the cracked cement floor
the howls and whines that kept
me sleepless
(Did you know that sound is still the
one I hear
when you wake me kicking from dreams
sleeping in your bed?)

To read the rest, be sure to pick up the amazing compilation of poems written from the poets’ pets’ viewpoint.