The Familiar

Forget crows, panthers, alligators and sharks;
the dog is the poet’s true familiar. The hours
of inaction spent sprawled out on a rug; the eager
fetch and carry of almost anything you care to throw
them; the way they fool you into thinking

they understand every word you are saying;
how they like to be fed and watered regularly;
how they smell of the forest floor when they are damp.
And don’t forget the selective memory. All of the above,
and the fact that they are happiest when lying

in the corner of a room inspecting their private parts.

From: The Familiar, by Gordon Meade (Arrowhead Press 2011).

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