Monday, September 5, 2011



A woman walks by the cemetery,
holds a barrel-chested bulldog
in her arms. The red leash draped
between them slaps her hip
when she walks.

What happens near the cemetery
seems significant because it is near
the cemetery, but usually, it is not.

The woman and her tired dog.
Because she loves him, she does not
make him walk. The heat takes it out
of him, she knew it before leaving
the house that morning.

All breathing sounds like a machine at work.
The dog’s rattles like a garbage disposal
chewing on the seeds from a grapefruit.

The cemetery is always there.
We are used to thinking around it.


  1. What type of poetry is this? Is this what you mentioned the other day? I love the vivid descriptions, Hannah.

  2. I had a bulldog once, and these details are accurate as well as evocative. That leash!

    Bulldogs are usually 50-80 pounds, pretty heavy to be carried; so she is indeed a protective "mom," but their "rattle" can make martyrs of their humans. Of course, it's the bulldogs who have abnormally short lives, so you're getting at the mortality theme in at least a couple of ways. Also, for your closure another nice shift and wipe out. Nicely done, Hannah.

  3. The labored breathing of bull dogs always makes me sad.

    Thank you for writing a beautiful poem about kindness.


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