Tell your dog I said hi

Saw this bumper sticker on a gray
compact heading east on J Street
on a sunny Saturday, my fellow citizens
and I wearing our shades, basking
in the warmth like lizards after enduring
nine atmospheric rivers washing us
cleaner than clean.

Flooding, downed trees—so many
lost sentinels—had sobered us.
But the deluge washed our cars, too
(the ones it didn’t wash away),
and this memo on wheels made me
smile as I drove past it, waving,
calling, “Hi!” to an invisible dog
in the back seat, hoping to catch
a glimpse of a panting tongue
and hot breath decorating a window,
transmitting a sweet canine salutation.

I did not see one, and I realized that
the driver may have been like me—
a former dog companion who never
brought herself to replace the half-pint
retriever whose nails I swear I still
hear some nights clicking down the hall.

It’s simpler this way, I tell myself.
Dogs are like kids; cats are easier.

But for days I looked for them
in the back seats of passing cars,
and, sealed in my four-wheeled,
canine-free transport, I waved
at the dogs, who often rewarded me
with a silent bark and, without fail,
a broad, toothy grin.

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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2 Responses to Tell your dog I said hi

  1. Mary Ann Carrasco says:

    Love this, Jan. Unable to replace a love! Great poem depicting the joy of pets and the fact that we can never replace them. May get another but they are irreplaceable!

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