I Thought This Poem Wouldn’t Have a Dog in It

I suppose this will read as merely self-indulgent information, but I’ll try to transcend that.

A puppy arrived here on Monday. Julie drove to Tecumseh, Michigan, the town where her Grandmother was born, where she picked up Vivi — named for Julie’s mother Vivian whom everyone called Vivi.

The pup is a Spinone Italiano, raised by a veterinarian and her farming husband and their six children, three of whom came to the family from Ghana. They are devoted to saving this breed so we feel part of a good thing. Vivi is sweet, gentle, pouncing with joy.
Charlie the rescue is acting like a good big brother, mostly. Cat Hattie is not sure about all this.

And the reason this is part of my project? Vivi is the embodiment of vulnerability. And here we are, every day, carrying both our own vulnerability and overwhelming empathy for that of others. Sigh.

 

I Thought This Poem Wouldn’t Have a Dog in It

Heaven would be good.
But I prefer it here only
without death’s daily nudge.

I put on some Chopin, water
the plants, spend some time
with Buddha, Emily, email,

never work on my golf game or
keep the windows clean. The center
doesn’t need to hold. Sitting here

on the couch, I read the letters
you wrote to me twenty years ago.
The first begins, “I hope you are

feeling better. I hope I’m not
out of line. It’s warm here.”
I notice the light falling across

the page, watch it take
its indiscriminate path along
the floor and think about

the time we forgot we left
the dog out overnight. He
waited at the door, and

in the morning, came in, ate,
hopped up on the couch
and fell asleep.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Hey! Just a friendly reminder to check out this news about a lovely reading coming up on June 23.

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20 thoughts on “I Thought This Poem Wouldn’t Have a Dog in It

    • You keep me at it~!
      Caring about you and the move and sooooo hoping to see you on the 23rd.
      Bring your friends, especially any who don’t believe they like poems!!!!
      XXXXX

  1. I believe our relationships with animals (i.e. dogs) offer liminal moments where unconditional love – in all its trust, beauty, generosity and vulnerability, may be truly, mutually felt. In that moment, we just may have the chance to be bit of a better human. Hugs to sweet, joy-filled Vivi – and you all.

    • Oh Linda! I felt a shiver.
      And just this morning I was with Sal Sapienza, the minister
      at Douglas UCC. He asked after Vivi and that’s what I said, “She
      bit John Calvin! She brings out the FACT that there IS unconditional
      love in this old guy.” Never doubt a dog!
      Thank ye!!!!!
      XXXX

  2. I thought this poem wouldn’t have Chopin in it. My love and devotion to this composer and for animals really touched me . Life as a pianist…………nice to see this music surface Thank you Jack

    • You caught me tribute to dear good you!
      I actually changed the final draft to Chopin!
      Thank YOU!
      And thanks be to that dear Agee!

    • Thanks, Tom! Vivi would love to visit with you two.
      And truly, I hope you two will dare to come to the reading
      at Roan & Black at 7 on the 23rd. I think you will be
      surprised at enjoying the time and feeling something
      uncommonly good afterwards.

  3. Jack, I love this poem.
    What beautiful statement on love and devotion. Times two. Came at me like a curveball. A sly trick with a great hook that lands right in the pocket. Perfect.
    Proud to know you.
    -David

    • Oh David, can you know what this means to me? Try.
      I’m taking deep breaths, really, after reading this.
      Thank ye soooooo much.
      Love ya, you know.
      Fuzzy Face

    • That’s a joy, knowing you appreciate the use of the words! Thanks!
      And from one who is made of care, your saying I care just enough is lovely.

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