I’m too outspoken
so I must wear a special collar
during the day while no one’s home.
When I alert the empty house, the collar
vibrates against my throat, feels weird. Sometimes, it’s uncomfortable,
causes me to whine when I speak my mind.
Life is “ruff.”
“Turkey muffin, turkey muffin,” you squeak,
as my leash clicks into place.
What’s a turkey muffin, anyway?
It doesn’t sound nearly as appealing
as that rotten fish head in the alley.
Now, that’s what I want.
Oh, you’re hungry.
You don’t live here
so you don’t know where anything is.
You can’t see very well, huh?
Well, how about some potato chips?
I know where they are, in the pantry.
Open this door–they’re right here on the floor.
Now, here’s one for you, five for me,
one for you, ten for me, one for you, twenty for me,
one for you, forty for me. Oh, the bag’s empty.
Just throw it away.
They’ll think you ate all the chips–ha ha.
What’s that on the other side of the fence?
A white stick it is, rolling along the pavement.
A human pushes it.
I want to chase it
so I bark and bark and bark,
leap in the air many times,
try to fly over the fence.
I’m ignored–human and stick
walk and roll away.
I decided to write the above poem when I read Francesco Marciuliano’s book, I Could Chew on This: and Other Poems by Dogs. It was also inspired by my recent visit to Florida, where my brother has two dogs, and my experiences with other canine friends over the years. I wrote four poems but then combined them into one. Click this link to hear me read it.
Author Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
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