November 1, 2016

Frank Aredia

TOMMY AND GINGER

They bought me a dog
when my brother died
and I never really understood why.
I certainly didn’t need a dog,
but I was happy to get it.
The dog was a wire haired terrier
and I named it Ginger
because
my mom had a dog named Ginger
when she was a girl.
And my dog Ginger was a wild dog and
it was a he,
and he liked to jump
over the gate
into the living room
where he would pee on the rug.
And my parents yelled at me
and told me I didn’t take care of my dog,
but I was only six years old,
and before I turned seven
I lost a brother named Tommy
and a dog named Ginger.

from Rattle #15, Summer 2001

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Frank Aredia: “After quietly observing and taking part in the absurd realities of life for nearly 50 years, I decided to document my journey of loss, physical and emotional pain, joy, and the wonderment of it all, like not falling off the earth while it spins.”