Susie Q in Puppy Love


I look into those eyes and think
he’s never really bonded with anybody
either. And he needs that. He’s mostly lab,
some border collie: Rosencrantz.
In the system since puppyhood and never
had the chance to have his own family.

And he seems bright enough and sweet
enough and, interesting. See, he dives.
His foster Mom’s been teaching him.

Now he’s mine, I get somewhere
to be on Saturdays, with the folks
whose dogs love water. And I think, okay,
so this my late thirties. This is how
I find my place in the world.

I rub the big black bulk of him
with both my hands, kiss his scruffy head,
and we run to the end of the dock.
I throw, he lunges, and I stand,
watching something fly that can’t.