If the Longing Overcomes You, Blame the Dogs
We’re walking past That House again
in the autumn dusk, the leaves
half clinging to the trees, half lining
the unswept walks, dogs and I
wearing our coats and smelling
the goings-on of others that have come before
and some before us still.
The couple are just leaving, her back turned
to lock the door so he’s the first to see us—
his round face, clean-shaven, stopping mid-sentence
to exclaim about the dogs,
moving to pet them and they accept his approach,
but she has locked the door and rounds the car,
“Let’s go Benny, we’re late”
just like last time, before he can crouch
and bury his face in fur,
the dog stink, dander, warm lap and late-night barking.
She doesn’t have to repeat herself this time;
we get one furtive look
or perhaps his eyes dart in our direction
as he drives off in their spotless car.
© Shelley Frier List
Shelley Frier List has been a writer of one sort or another since she was a teenager, but things got really serious when she discovered that writing was better than not-writing, even if it meant catalogs and technical documents. She holds a B.A. in English/creative writing and an M.S. in communications and actually gets to use her degrees in her work as a Web content writer. Much to her surprise, Shelley became a poet in 1999. She placed in the Scottish International Open Poetry Competition and was published in Blue Collar Review, and it’s about darn time she got the rest of her work out there.