“Grief Dog” by Wyn Cooper

Wyn Cooper


I keep thinking of dogs, of how I could use 
some company, a breathing thing 
to fill the space you left, the sound of the door
you slammed still in my ears, 
the smell of your perfume still in the air.  
I keep thinking of names I might give my new pet,
Sad Dog, Grief Dog, names that bounce 
off the ceiling, wag their way down the hall
to the room with the bed I can’t sleep in. 
I keep thinking of the movie I saw last night,
the one with the dog who runs in circles,
its bark no match for its bite, how it grips
the leg of its owner and won’t let go,
teeth that dig into meat it misses. 
I keep thinking of my neighbor, not a Miss
or a Ms. but a Mrs., how in winter
she dresses her dog in a sweater that matches
her coat, how she walks down the sidewalk
unaware of the stares of those who pass by,
how the dog seems embarrassed, won’t look
in anyone’s eyes. And neither will I. 

from Rattle #81, Fall 2023


Wyn Cooper: “I write poetry in part because it makes me find connections I might otherwise not have found, connections that I—and with any luck others—might learn from, whether metaphors or similes or something in between. I’ve never owned a dog.” (web)

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