Thursday, April 11, 2013


Mary Lee posted this picture, along with a playful cumulative poem at Year of Reading this morning. Mary Lee was especially intrigued by the small brown pug in the bottom right corner of the  picture. I immediately thought of Maggie, a crazy yellow lab that adopted me many years.  Maggie loved, loved, loved Washington Park, and regularly escaped from her leash to cavort happily through the park- interrupting soccer games, attending birthday parties, and participating in art classes.


You come to me
During a cold November rain
I do not recognize you
But you kiss my face frantically,
Insist that we have
known each other
For a very long time.
Leave muddy pawprints
Down the front of my purple raincoat

I am sure
Someone must be searching
for such a fine young yellow lab
clearly purebred.
But no one claims you. 
And so you,
Sixty pounds of
tail wagging
claim us.

You love many things-
Naps on the living room couch
Doggie bags
snatched from my hand
before they ever make it to the fridge.
Car rides,
not next to Ramsey
in the back of the SUV
but rather perched on the edge
of the front seat
where you pant
and drool happily
on the dashboard.

Most of all
you love Washington Park
dog heaven on earth-
endless squirrels
geese to chase
a myriad of four-legged friends.
You are the Houdini of dogs
Regularly freeing yourself
From the confines of the leash
to race through soccer games
and gobble hot dogs at birthday parties 
and company picnics.
You name yourself 
an honorary member 
of  taekwondo and folk dancing classes.
The ladies in the Thursday afternoon art class
are especially unappreciative
of your talent
issuing a lifetime ban
After you knock over an easel.

Your favorite place, though,
Is the slimy, duck-poopy,
algae-ridden lake
And you paddle gleefully
Back and forth
For hours on end
As Ramsey and I glumly wonder
Whether you will ever come out.

Your carefree existence ends
The rainy May evening
when the boys move in.
Now you have a job.
You are therapy girl.
All summer
My two broken boys
Rage and scream and rail
against a life
that has been far from kind
And you lean against them,
Gently licking
the hurt away.

© Carol Wilcox, 2013

1 comment:

Mary Lee said...

Good dog, Maggie. Good dog.