“that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and all the others in prose.”
Billy Collins, “The Revenant”
I am not walking you today. Didn’t you notice?
It’s 5:26 p.m.
I should have walked you at our normal time
but I didn’t,
Clover, I just didn’t.
No real reason.
(although it did start to rain)
Why are you still begging twelve hours later?
Did you have a date?
Did you and Polo make secret plans?
She’s been out all day
doing mysterious things with a hole. She seems surprised
most morning that I even remember
to show up faithfully, six days out of seven, for our walk,
while you, Clover
jump on me with nails like claws
you bark before my coffee
slides down my throat to my feet
which only awake when I walk
I’ve stumbled through fog
this whole long day.