Sunday, August 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Kelly McQuain reads 'First Dog': 'Let loose, mother-free'

Kelly McQuain reads 'First Dog': 'Let loose, mother-free'

 

First Dog

 

First hot day of spring, a yellow Lab

in the park rubs himself wild against new grass

—first back, then front, then

 

back again—drunk with panting pleasure,

unabashed as only dogs can be. Or little boys,

this one a toddler still,

 

discovering first dog. His? No.

Yes? Let loose, mother-free, he totters close,

promise of golden pleasure

 

equal or more than the dog’s self-scratch,

sniff of flower, whiff of squirrel, scent of dogs just passed.

Always been afraid before,

 

mother tells walker in a language

neither of boys nor dogs, left to invent their own

wordless words. I watch

 

muzzle nudge answer stumble-step, lick

ignite laughter, tug of flappy ears get questioned—Woof?

This communion cut short

 

by the inevitable No, no, no, dog

pulled back and boy’s hand enveloped inside mother’s

to practice gentle re-approach,

 

careful pat, when all boy wants is a rush

of furry, welcoming four-legged monster—a union of worlds

of mutual wonder.

 

About this blog
Latest news and reviews from Philadelphia's vibrant art scene.

Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected