Canine and Diptych

By J.D. Smith


A dog of high spirits
inhabits me.

It leads me
to take long walks
at all hours,
in every kind of weather.

At times, on the subway,
it would leap off the platform
but is checked, so far,
by hearing Stay. Stay.


A childhood friend become
a browsing animal stood nearby.
The shrubs at his height
were bare, and from one bush
I pulled round-leaved twigs, from another,
small tubers on a branch.

His species and its world
dissolved in morning,
I look for the vertebrae that would
extend his reach, the surgeon
to set them in place.

JD SmithJ.D. Smith’s fourth poetry collection, The Killing Tree, was published in late 2016. His other books include the essay collection Dowsing and Science and the children’s picture book The Best Mariachi in the World. He works as an editor and writer in Washington, DC, where he lives with his wife Paula Van Lare and their rescue animals.

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