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What You Know
Tamara Madison

Your tongue flows over
the boulders of your teeth
and flutters in the wind like a man’s tie
 I follow in your trotting path
to watch from behind
your velvet ears flap
 you tumble on your side
to snort and wiggle your golden body
in the scratchy grass
 you wag your whole head
and grin when you come to greet me
your whip-like tail waving in arcs
 your muzzle, grown grey
with the decade, is a man’s
suede oxford shoe
 because every moment for you
is a prelude to enjoyment
even now as we wait for life
 to pour you back
into its sure-flowing stream
we move within the shadow
 cast by the coming loss of you
I watch your ribs rise
and fall with your living
 find comfort in the knowledge
that you store in the walnut-shaped
bump on your skull
 where among all the things you know
is the best one: that if you wait long enough
something good will always come along.
© by Tamara Madison.
Used with the author’s permission.

Tamara Madison teaches English and French at a public high school in Los Angeles. Raised on a citrus farm in the California desert, Tamara’s life has taken her many places, including Europe and the former Soviet Union, where she spent 15 months in the 1970s). A swimmer and dog lover, Tamara says, "All I ever wanted to do with my life was write, and I mostly write poetry because it suits my lifestyle; I like the way one can say so much in the economical space of a poem."



Post New Comment:
I love the view of your (our) eyes watching the dog moving and being with the animal in its environment! Beautiful!
Posted 09/07/2012 11:05 AM
One of my very favorites of your poems, especially having known the total exuberance and joi de vivre of one special exuberant canine "nephew" who touched my heart, too.... SGLittle
Posted 08/31/2012 11:07 AM
You did a great job here. " the knowledge/ that you store in the walnut-shaped/ bump on your skull/...that if you wait long enough/ something good will always comes along." -- the wonder of a dog! Thanks. GHChappell
Posted 08/25/2012 04:20 PM
How wonderful! The bond we have with dogs and cats and all other creatures is beautifully reflected here. Great poem!
Posted 08/25/2012 08:27 AM
beautiful <3<3
Posted 08/25/2012 08:17 AM
Such true observations.I felt like you were describing my golden retriever with her rolling, snorting, grinning, and skull bump. They are wonders, aren't they--and great diggers, too! Thanks for this poem! Marilyn Zelke-Windau
Posted 08/25/2012 07:37 AM
Terri Kirby Erickson:
This is a wonderful, exuberant poem!
Posted 08/25/2012 06:54 AM

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