The itch that demands a scratch
right in the middle of the back,
the spot no amount of arm twisting
can reach, sends bears backing up
into trees to shimmy into rough bark
just right for scraping away annoyance.

The irritation that sends dogs into frenzy,
cats into paroxysms of agitation,
and me looking for someone,
anyone, with even the smallest
fingernails to go after the point that
my brownie-baking grandmother
would happily attack with gusto
for as long as I liked, saying,

Is that better, honey? More?

And when I’d nod or moan
my assent, practically bicycling
my leg like a happy dog, I relished
the pleasure of having another
lavish kind attention on my person,
this garage for my soul, still carting
me through six-and-a-half golden

May it always continue
with hugs and back scratches,
as much agreeable touch as one
can decently get in public, and
perhaps, with luck, the private brush
of caress, of cuddle, of embrace,
affirmation of endearment,
testament to true affection.

Grizzly bear back scratch, Denali National Park / Photo: Patrick J. Endres

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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4 Responses to Acnestis

  1. Janet Johnston says:

    Thanks Jan! Love the way you took it from animals to grandmother happily attacking with gusto and asking if you needed more to those wonderful last lines. Rings true all the way through 😉

  2. lbk53 says:

    A new word for me.  I wish th

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