This all goes back to that blank book
I had in the seminary. It was for sketches
and quotes, and the names of flowers
and trees. I kept a list in it, too,
of all the people I’d be praying for.
There were no dogs on the list then,
though I did see how one thing
led to another. I’d call up some face
and another would appear – and hey,
who doesn’t deserve a prayer? – so
I’d put ‘em on the list. That’s when I started
falling asleep, halfway, before I was done.
Which brings us to Barkley.
I don’t even know the dog. And there are
others like him – not mine and many
long dead – your Gabbies and Falcons,
your Bimases and Kings of this world.
And once your dogs are in, the cats come running,
whining and getting their backs up
when you don’t cooperate. I’d say keep it
to my own kind (what’s next, snails? minerals?),
but the way the babies keep coming,
and the new partners – the jilteds and the
Jolies – and with my cousin doing genealogical
research, finding family I never knew even about,
well, what’s the point?
I may never stop falling asleep.