How It Is For My Dog and Me

 

This is true. I’m taking frozen shrimp out of the bag for dinner
when the realization comes that this is how it’s supposed to be.
No one could do it any better, living alone like this
with my little dog whose breed not even the groomer cares about.
Preparing my dinner—and hers—too late, but what can you do
when there’s no one around to hurry you up,
to hold you to a schedule or to listen to the funny voices
you amuse yourself out loud with, addressing either the mongrel
or that ubiquitous imaginary audience beyond the window
you’re staring out of as you cut up the veggies and cut up,
throwing yourself into fits of hilarity until your dog’s deadpan face
brings you back down to earth and you blurt out to her,
You know your daddy’s crazy! At which she wags her tail, thinking
I’m finally about to put her damn food in her bowl already,
patient little creature that puts up valiantly with my idea
of how life is supposed to be . . .

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