The Little Dog
The Little Dog Upstairs That Never Quits Barking
has suddenly quit. And in the quiet
I wait for him to resume, imagining him
(for I have seen him—his tight white curls,
his anxious, mashed-in face)
staring into space, too sorrowful now
even to cry out, settling
with a sigh in the leopard armchair,
facing the wooden indifference of the door.
Poetry after all is a form of barking.
Yap, yap, yap,
someone please come back.
Take me outside to piddle
among the flower stalks. Cradle me
in the arms of your strange tall species,
grant me a biscuit shaped like a bone.
. . . And now I, too, fall silent. The clock
in the kitchen keeps clicking away
saying Love me to the skillet and saucepans,
the wire rack of dishes, cans of soup
and beans, O bowl of sugar, O dispenser of salt.