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A Twist in the Tale: A Poet’s Dog

By Jenny Kalahar

Since adopting Weegee many years ago, I’ve found her to be a perfect companion in every way, especially when I’m writing. She supports me while I write or edit my novels and poems, understanding that she is an inspiration and quiet helper, ready to listen or to simply lean against my leg to let me know she is there for me. She is frequently the subject of my stories and poems and understands that when you live with a writer, you are bound to be sent off on adventures from time to time.

A Poet’s Dog

I might ask her to sit comfortably at my side
waiting as I write a poem about her
before her tender brown eyes slide shut
and her body tilts, then recovers
then gives way to any bit of clear, soft floor nearby for slumber

I might put her on a rugged sailing ship
her nose slightly whiter from the salt air
proudly guarding her side of the deck
shouting and telling off seagulls
veering and steering too near
staring down an approaching storm to change its direction
or blowing into the sails to set a course anew

I might have her write her own poetry, her own book
using a typewriter designed for clever dogs
and she will be published worldwide and glorified
but shun fame for simple walks with the ones she loves
trying to befriend suspicious neighborhood squirrels
greeting her neighborhood dog pals
thinking up metaphors and analogies
for the way she feels when night has come
and she is our own good dog, lying between us
drifting off to her own dreams instead of those I have made for her

A poet’s dog never knows where she will be from day to day:
running full-speed, legs crossing under belly
through Viennese greens and florals,
or chasing playful deer in loamy woods
and then turning to be chased themselves,
or sitting watch in a Buddhist temple
silent as the distant shadows,
or rescuing cats from trees in some impossible manner
I worry, though, that when my well of ink has all run dry
that she will simply wait by my side,
wondering why I haven’t sent her on to new adventures.
And that may be why this poet keeps writing
and why the words still come


More from Jenny:

When Will You Take Me Home?

Weegee and the Hoarse Whisperer

What Kind of Wonder is My Cat?

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