My Two Charges


They’re small like cats

Not even big house cats


They’re dogs and must

Be compensating

Wishing all felines

Into tolerable targets


Thank goodness, I have

Them when they tire

With age, sleeping more

Than running varmints

Down in the yard


Actually, my greater

Concern—my aim—is

Is that they live until my

Sister returns


Hear that, lump of

Turned-in white-curled

Thighs and back and

Ears, snoozing beside me

As I type?


And you, over to the

Left, long-brown dog

Sleeping in a circle on the

Floor, back bent from

Early trauma—your

Heart will keep its

Rhythm (yes?), when

You set your four pins

To the ground to trundle

Over to the door?


Please, dogs, stay with



After long-sleeping

Hours, I’d be thankful

For you waking up

Each time