Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Friday, April 29, 2016

Peaches, a poem by Donna Marie Merritt


She could fit in the palm of your hand
when she was born. She was cute.
Stil, I told her right from the start,
I don't like dogs.
I had given in for the sake
of my daughters.
When she was old enough, at eight weeks,
to be separated from her mother,
we brought this bundle of fur home.
I held her on my lap in the car,
but only because she was scared.
After all, she had just left her
mother and siblings. Yet, I told her,
I don't like dogs.
When I lifted her from the kitchen and set her down
one step into the family room (she was afraid
to make the leap), I told her,
I don't like dogs.
When we replaced the carpet in the famiily room
because training had not gone well at first,
you know what I told her
(though I did like the new carpet).
When she barked incessantly
every tiime someone entered,
When she ran in circles
waiting to go outside,
When she shook with excitement
eager for a treat,
When my back ached from shoveling a path
and clearing an area in the snow-covered yard
so she could do her business, I told her sternly,
I don't like dogs.
When she forgot she was playing fetch
and wandered awawy to lie in the sun or
When she curled up on my lap,
I told her, as I petted her,
I don't like dogs.
When I carried her from the kitchen and set her down
on the chair because she was too weak and sick
to do it on her own,
I looked in her eyes and remembered how she danced
around for twelve years as if I were praising her
each time I told her
I don't like dogs.
When I cleaned up her vomit and feces,
When I cooked bacon and eggs and steak
and tried to coax her to eat,
When I carried her outside to feel the cool grass
one more time, I told her,
I don't like dogs
and she seemed comforted.
When her eyes glazed over,
When my daughters and I held her
for the last time, I told her,
You're a good dog.
I will miss you...
I think she knew.
                                ... Donna Marie Merritt
                                    from her book, Her House and Other Poems
*reprinted here with special permission from the author, Donna Marie Merritt

About the Poet...

Donna Marie Merritt is the author most recently of We Walk Together and of Her House and Other Poems. She is also the author of the Poetry for Tough Times series: What’s Wrong with Ordinary? Poems to Celebrate Life; Cancer, A Caregiver’s View; and Job Loss, A Journey in Poetry. Donna’s work has appeared in magazines, school reading programs, and American Library Association’s Book Links. Her poems can be found in a variety of anthologies, including: Garbanzo, volume 5, by Seraphemera Books; Caduceus, volumes 9 and 10, by the Yale Medical Group; Olives, Now and Then: poems in honor of Donald Hall by the Connecticut Poetry Society; and Dear One: A Tribute to Lee Bennett Hopkins by the National Council of Teachers of English. Her children's poems have been included in anthologies such as National Geographic's Book of Nature Poetry. 

Donna is a former columnist for Teaching K–8 magazine, was a teacher for 14 years, spent a dozen years as an editor, and is the author of 15 math and science books for children.

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