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“The Dog I Don’t Remember”

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This poem was inspired by a conversation with my two sisters, both of whom remember a dog of whom  I have no recollection. This version of the poem benefits from the feedback of BG and her group, and of JH and JG.

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THE DOG I DON’T REMEMBER

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My two younger sisters swear that he was real: Ralph

a large brown mixed-breed hound, the alpha

who like a frontier marshal came from who-knows-where

and kept to his own counsel, his name a local fable.

On random summer days he came lumbering down Rugby Road,

other pets watching from their stoops — our own mutt Spunky,

the sweet collie Cindy next door, the howling beagle Holly.

They stayed clear of him out of a pecking-order respect

or cowardice or well-bred sense. He made his solitary way

past all the houses, swing sets, and elms, never stopping

at the corner of Brookview and Hays, then left

for other parts of town, free to roam alone.

No lady hound would ever claim him, give him puppies.

My sisters still keep his ramblings in their stories

from nearly forty years ago. And I have given up,

out of a love for that pre-leash world we came from,

any will to pin the truth to the pavement.

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by Therese L. Broderick

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THANK YOU FOR READING MY BLOG.

About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

4 responses »

  1. Oh,Therese, how I wish I could remember him too. What else have I forgotten? Thanks for the memory jog of the other dogs who so freely roamed back then. Lovely poem.

  2. Therese what a sweet poem!
    you should keep your sister`s memories vivid by all means.
    Pamela

  3. Amazing what memory can do. Is Ralph a phantom hound; an imaginary friend of your sisters or a detail, forgotten amid so many others?

  4. Therese! You must remember him. Ralph always barreled down the road straight toward Spunky who turned both fierce and terrified in one swirling instant. Fighting back with snapping jaws at the same time he spun around to run like hell back into his safe living room. So fun to read poems about Spunky and Rugby Road.

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