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.
we people are like baskets, and sometimes
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.