Two dog poems

jadadecember The villanelle is my favorite form.  I love the way that really good ones sail out, taking your breath away.  I have learned not to take off after the first end rhymes that come to mind, but to plot out a little further and find sets that can stand up across several stanzas.

I tried writing in couplets one morning for an open mic that afternoon.  I forgot how difficult it is to write in rhyme.

I did not imagine that I would grow up and write poems about my dog but am also not very surprised.

 

Old Dog

White has overtaken the red in your face.
You pause before heading up the stairs, no longer spry.
None of us escape age; you approach it with grace

Keeping an eye on the world, the porch is your place.
You lay in the sun, belly exposed, doze, sigh.
White has overtaken the red in your face.

You’re selective about meeting other dogs, preferring your own space.
A kindred introvert spirit, I guess we’re both pretty shy.
None of us escape age; you approach it with grace

You’re no water dog.  Even during a drizzle, you will brace
yourself at the corner, legs akimbo, demanding we return home and get dry.
White has overtaken the red in your face.

In the absence of speech, a strange embrace:
during a thunderstorm, you crawled across my lap, then remained, wanting to be nearby.
None of us escape age; you approach it with grace

We still hike – abbreviated distance, slower pace –
You spend more time sniffing, I look at trees, birds, sky.
White has overtaken the red in your face.
None of us escape age; you approach it with grace

 

Jada

She is a pitbull, red and thick.  Stocky, she radiates power.
This is a false front.  Left unattended in the yard, she nibbles on the flowers

On bright afternoons, she lays on the porch with her belly exposed.
Subdued by the heat or intrigued by daydream, her quick eyes dawdle close.

When we first met, her muzzle held a single stripe of white.
That has slowly spread and widened. Now her entire face is bright.

She is 10 and a half. The middle points now part of the measure.
She could pass for a fraction of that riding in the car, so palpable her pleasure.

There is no need for words, we move with understanding.
She sniffs a little more when we hike, but I am not demanding.

In the evening, she nestles on the couch, contemplative and sage.
There are no lessons like those from old dogs when it comes to how to age.

 

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