A poem by Lauren Henley


While reading some of River and Sound Review this morning, I came upon this lovely poem. It uses the dog as a metaphor for the past. Anytime a dog is used literally or figuratively in poetry I admire it because it can be so hard to use domestic animals without turning the poem into something “cute.”

Read River and Sound by clicking here

Black Dog Follows Me

by Lauren Henley

I did not want you when I first saw you,

which is a response that you know

like your name & the names

you must be called, of which I too

have called you

on all the nights that came before.

You see,

we people are like baskets, and sometimes

like olives,

there is a desire to always be filled

by something. All that to say

we are afraid

& the filling is often a meatless

kind of shadow. You must be tired.

Here is your bed and your bowl.

How you knew I’d be out walking,

you whose volume shifts like pop bottles catching rain,

you with the ribs like scratches

from a hand file,

you hound with eyes too much like a man’s,

& how I thought

I could make it home without you trailing


all of this serves as reminder,

a string around the finger:

I am not a closed book,

not a pretty thing in a tower,

there is meat in my coat pocket.


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