For years I sat, watching the rusty trucks go by
Woof-woofing at the clopping horses
Wagg-wagging, So happy to see you!
Growling at those strangers, one every other day
And when you let me off that chain,
with the neighbour dog, that insolent mutt
or chasing the cows, until they chased me back
with their angry moos and piercing hooves.
Then I scurried under the porch and stayed there
until you came home and lovingly, sweetly
coaxed me out.
But now, oh now, oh how
you want to make of me a city dog
a posh dog, a preening dog of pure-blood;
of distinction, poise and confidence.
One who can watch cats prance by with disdain,
not even dreaming of making them scatter
and leap yowling into a tree.
One who would never lunge at a chattering squirrel
or get bloodied in a brawl.
One who knows the meaning of Dog Parks,
doo-doo bags and civilized Sunday strolls,
dog salons, grooming clippers and clothes.
Clothes? Yes, clothes, clothes for dogs
though they hardly make them in my size.
Oh still, I dream of Woof-woof-woofing
at the horses, and you must notice how
my feet twitch and my mouth moves just a little,
but I want you to be pleased with me,
so I keep my dreams inside.
And still, I am so happy to see you!
I Wagg-wagg in a domestic way, trying
not to knock you down or send things flying.
I try to remember what it is you want of me,
what makes your voice soft and complimentary.
I try to be what you need of me,
and yet, in the end, I am still just me,
once and always a redneck dog.
March 10, 2009
A sister poem: Ode to a skanky mutt