by Frannie Lindsay
An old blonde dog takes care of me. His face
is scarred, his hips protrude. He’s out of bark,
he cannot smell his food. He cannot taste
the pills I place behind his tongue. I stroke
his throat, he swallows them. Good boy. On three
good legs, he follows me from day to day
as if the days were trees, his favorite trees;
and all their shade were love, the shade he lies
beneath; the live roots cradling his bleached
canoe of ribs. And death curls sweet, and licks
my hands and neck, and leads him by its leash
from my desk side, where he waits and looks
at me, my stumbling pen, my grip gone
curled and weak. I cannot look at him.
Frannie Lindsay’s books are Mayweed (Word Works Washington Prize); Lamb (Perugia); and Where She Always Was (Utah State University). In 2008, she won the Missouri Review Prize. Her poems have appeared in many journals, and on Poetry Daily and Writer’s Almanac. She has received fellowships from the NEA and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.