When asked my opinion of poetry — and believe it or not, I have been asked — I usually try to distract from the fact that I’m a terrible poet by claiming that poetry is generally bad anyway.
“It’s stupid! I hate it! I hate you! You’re stupid,” I’ll scream at the person who had the nerve to ask. Then I’ll run away crying. Usually, they’ll have forgotten all about the subject at that point.
Truth of the matter is, I don’t really hate poetry…I’m just no good at writing it and I generally don’t understand or appreciate what I read of it. And the kind of poetry I do appreciate is the kind that focuses more on witty rhymes and silly narratives rather than deep, personal, formless expression. Think Shel Silverstein and, I suppose, Dr. Seuss. That’s the kind of stuff I can dig into.
All of this is, of course, a long introduction to something shitty I’ve written. Hell, you’re here, right? That’s the point, isn’t it? Brace yourself. It’s coming.
I scribbled the basic skeleton of this (quotation mark) poem (end quotation mark) during a town board meeting, between the arguments about whether or not the town’s community center should be used as a church and just how much money the town should invest in getting its grass mowed. Journalistic integrity be damned, that stuff is boring. Instead of taking notes so that my publication isn’t filled with a bunch of junk I made up, I wrote this. I hope you enjoy it for what it is, whatever that may be.
Mama dog walking down the side of the road,
Teats swinging wildly with their heavy load.
God only knows where that hound’s got to go,
This mama dog walking down the side of the road.
Lacking a collar or a trailing line,
She flattens her ears to make double-time
As if late for being somewhere important to go,
Mama dog, now running, down the side of the road.
Our eyes meet briefly as the two of us pass,
Us both on our journeys down opposite paths.
I know I feel exhausted and wonder if it shows
To this mama dog running down the side of the road.
She, on the other hand, looks a little less weary.
Now, I’m no dog whisperer, but I do have a theory
About this hound’s journey and why she won’t slow
As she makes her way down the side of the road.
Unlike yours truly, with places to be,
She ‘s out there, prancing. Bloated but free.
Her little legs flailing like a bundle of snakes
Determined for distance, whatever it takes.
Alone, she’s traveling down that rural street,
No master, no pack, no pups at her teats.
She’s traded them all for an endless trail,
It put a pep in her step and a wag in her tail.
I ain’t saying I’m jealous. Let that rumor be quashed.
She’s stupid, flea-covered and bound to be squashed.
I’m just saying she’s lucky to have nothing owed.
Just a bitch full of milk on the open road.