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Devin’s Tails: Interview With My Dog

I am proud to feature a new poem from poet and novelist, Jenny Kalahar!

Interview With My Dog

by Jenny Kalahar

Weegee

In a dream state, or hypnotic flow

I found myself somehow talking dog

Or she found herself talking English.

It only felt strange for that first “hello”

And then I forgot that she was normally a pretty quiet dog

And my dog forgot to hold her tongue

 

I was enchanted by the way her fuzz-fringed lips moved

The syllables, the vowels were very well done

Nice and crisp, without a stammer

We had no secrets, for my part

But I had questions to impart

And so we sat to chat a while beneath the evening’s golden moon

 

Where were you born? I asked of Weegee

Where did you live when just a pup?

She thought a moment, closing eyes to clearly recollect:

“I think I was born in a wild wood

The nights were cold, Mom’s milk was thin

There were things we were scared of now and then

My mother left before she ought

We were found then, starving, and were brought

To a barn, a farm, a place where horses stood and stomped

And would have stomped us all to death

But I ran off one stormy night – just left

I found a highway and sat down

At the ratted edge of some small town

 

An old man found me; he carried me to a shelter

And there I was for several months

Through Christmas, longer – it was rough

But then you came, you and your mate

I knew right off we’d find a way

To be a family, be together

And so . . . I didn’t let myself remember

Where I’d been or how I’d lived

There were only warm arms to lift me up

Only kind words, only sweetness

And that is how I came to be

What I am now – your contented dog.”

 

I hugged her then; I kept her on my lap

As night-birds called and breezes flowed

I had more questions, more to know

I stroked her back and asked, quite low:

Have you understood the words I’ve said

Through these years together, my sweet friend?

She lifted her muzzle to stare at me

Meeting my eyes earnestly

“What are words? What are you asking?

The sounds we make as we are basking

In the love we feel don’t matter, no . . .

I feel what you feel when you throw my ball

Or pat my head, or walk with me so long.

I know your heart.”

 

And as that strange linguistic magic died

We sat in quiet harmony

That was enough for our Weegee

And yes, that was enough for me

Jenny KalahrJenny Kalahar lives and writes in Indiana in an old schoolhouse that she shares with her husband, Patrick, their cats and a terrier named Weegee. She is the author of two humorous novels about fostering shelter cats in a used bookshop, Shelve Under C: A Tale of Used Books and Cats, and The Find of a Lifetime. Both are for readers aged 13 through adult. Jenny will soon be publishing a collection of her poetry, One Mile North of Normal and Other Poems. Her blog about bookselling with Weegee can be found here.

Photos and poem, Interview With My Dog, © Copyright by Jenny Kalahar. Used with permission.

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