Thursday, January 29, 2009

Three Dog Day

“No, I don’t want another dog,” said my mother.

“You get attached.”

She said it two times before my father

brought home another dog.

Whenever she remembered their first dog,

her face brightened into shining happiness.

“He was a Cocker Spaniel”, she said.

“He was smart. You never needed to tell him anything.

He knew.

He guarded your baby carriage when I went shopping.

You don’t remember. He brought your father his shoes.”

Skippy was the Collie

Of flowing red and white hair,

Daredevil and fearless

Like a Spartan at Thermopylae.

He faced down cars and was run over.

In a last vast burst of overflowing energy

he galloped back onto the front porch

bloody and screaming and expired.

After that my Teddy Bear became important,

which he had never been before.

Half a decade later my mother said,

“I don’t want another dog. You get attached.”

The third dog was a boxer bitch.

When my father brought her home

she pranced down the hall to my mother

of the waiting white bright smile of mind.

Dusty died when I was in college.

She was a teenager in human years.

My mother held she was almost human,

and had mastered English, not just to understand,

but to make her meaning known.

“She could talk”, my mother said.

She nodded her head knowingly.

“You get attached,” she said.

[copyright EAC]

N.B. Part of a much larger work, this poem stands alone as a dedication to the poet Belden Crane Johnson, whose Snake Blossoms, in its truth and simplicity, was, and remains, ahead of the times. Indeed, since the times have been in reverse for at least a generation, perhaps more ahead now than when it was first published.


Thorndike Pickledish said...

A beautiful and sensitive poem !~

In the early 80's we got a beautiful cocker pup...we loved walking him...people would always ask his name---it was JOE......Joe Cocker...people were amused...we were day Joe got ran over...we got another pup--this was a femme dog she was also JO (Josephine) Cocker..we taught her to drive...she went out and ran over the driver that had killed Joe ! (up until the end that was a true story)

3 Dog Nite
When I first DJ'ed in Monterey--I was always finding NEW artists in the throwaway bin...I found Danny Hutton...and really liked his solo day 6 years later I was DJ-ing at a club (on the radio too) I was playing "Heavy Music" yes WE were rock and roll HIP snobs...a guy came into the booth and said hey...I'm with 3 dog nite ...thought I'd give you our new LP...I said " yeah--cool" (acting like DON'T BOTHER me kid..after all 3 dogs records were hits--we couldn't have hits on MY "HIP" show...later came to find out the the guy I was rude to was the singer I thought was so good earlier...Danny Hutton (of 3 dog) --man would I have liked a "do over" I learned to be less snobby...still I didn't take off my Hendrix and 13th floor elevator tunes for Kermit...who i caught in bed in bed with my wife...

OH GOD (DOG SPELLED BACKWARDS) I'm sorry I forgot THIS IS NOT MY BLOG (which rhymes with dog) its EAC Hopalong' sorry to mar it with a confessional.....

Hopalong EAC said...

One Bloody Mary, Two Our Dada's, and a Three Pussycat Evening should do the trick as an act of contrition, my son.

Go and shin no more.