Wednesday, May 28, 2008

*Dinner, Again

I was reading Billy Collins' Questions About Angels a few days ago (thanks Holly, for reminding me how great this book is!), and I noticed just how many poems in that book are about his dog. This struck me, because it seems so simple, such an easy thing, to write a poem about your own dog. And yet, I've never done it, and that's weird. So I started toying with this. It's a first draft, and I'm sure I'll revise the crap out of it soon enough, but for now, I thought I'd post it here.

Dinner, Again
by me

When she calls you to dinner
do you sigh,
think, oh… good… dryly?
Pork chops… again.
Just what I wanted. More pasta
and meatballs
Do you put down your newspaper,
your cell phone, your iPod,
and plod to the table,
sit casually, raise fork to mouth,
chew mathematically, and then,
full and filled, return to your more
important drudgery?

But when you call him to dinner,
does he awaken from slumber
like a demon at night,
barrel through the yard or the house,
knowing that this is the most
exciting moment of his life… again?
Does he wonder what is on the menu,
think, oh… I hope it’s re-processed
organic meat byproducts!

Does he wag his tail and spread his drool
on the couch and your pant legs, eager
to see onto the counter as you open the can,
scoop from the bag?

Or does he know that he’ll be eating
today what he ate yesterday, and yesterday,
and yesterday? Is he tired of routine?
Maybe he only runs for his bowl on the floor
because he knows that seeing him
this happy for his dinner
makes you just a bit jealous of
his passion.

Either way,
when he finishes his palatial feast and
returns to the yard or his little cozy bed,
he looks through the fence or the window
at the neighbor kid on his bike,
and he lets out one loud bark!—his own
barbaric yawp—to tell the world
that he—like you—like me—
is satisfied.

1 comment:

nikki joy said...

it's definitely the first one. they're so much more grateful than humans. =)