Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Slice of Life - Dogs

I've been participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers. I love the challenge of composing a piece of writing at least once a week about life or teaching.
This week I was drawn to two beautiful books and bought them both:
Listen to the NPR interview with Cynthia Rylant here.
Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
The books and the beautiful poetry in them inspired me to write a poem about my own dog and his abundant joy:
Wearily I enter through the cluttered laundry room
at the end of the day;
it's dark already.
My heeled shoes
hurt my feet, and I kick them off.
I set down my bags, burdened with things to do.
I hear an eager whine beyond the laundry room door,
and I smile.
My day was long and I am tired,
but I know what awaits beyond that door.
Unencumbered joy,
happiness embodied.
A small being of infinite energy and full heart,
wagging his tail so hard it winds up his whole backside.
So happy to see me.
I open the door and
suddenly, my mood lifts.
I have dinner to cook, papers to grade, errands to run.
But right now, I have dog to greet.


  1. Pets do bring a special joy to us, even when we are bone-tired. What a cute face to greet you at the end of the long day. Your poem reflects the weariness, but how it all changes with that bundle of joy behind the door.

  2. Isn't that the truth? Dogs are full of unconditional love, aren't they? I also could picture you dropping your bag, tired at the end of the day with yet so much to do. It sounds like your little guy there helps to make the day just a little brighter. Thanks for sharing the links. I'm going to check them out.

  3. I have a friend whose husband suddenly asked for a divorce, after many years of marriage. She has often said that it was her dog who saved her! You've described this uplifting feeling so well, Holly. I love "wagging his tail so hard it winds up his whole backside", can just see it! I have Dog Songs, am slowly reading and savoring.

  4. Thank you for bringing Mary Oliver to us this slicing Tuesday - I do love her.

  5. I'm not even a dog person, but you had me with the words "A small being of infinite energy and full heart," and then the picture. I wish you could hear the ooh that escaped when I saw his picture. You captured that end of day weariness so well. Thanks for a delightful post.