jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spinning the Dog

Like wool, softer than Alpaca,
they can not put their dog away.
They wear him as a sweater,
wrap themselves in their white Samoyed
like a down comforter.
Clean, pressed handkerchiefs
are held at the ready as they shear
their passed pet, pull tender tufts
as from a sheep, spooling great balls
of creamy hair. Tears must be wiped,
the salt will stiffen the fur.
If you knew how to cast on,
cast off, thread the tail
through a yarn needle,
pull tightly through all remaining stitches,
weave in all ends,
would you lay your dog to rest
or put him on your head,
an easy roll-brim hat?


I wrote this immediately after hearing a story on the radio about a couple who used the fur of their dead dog for sweaters. I was in the middle of writing the current free-for-all prompt for poem. Stop on by and read our prompt, join in if you like. I don't think this qualifies as a putting away poem, in that I did not put away my dog into a sweater, but still, I am pleased to have written a poem in the moment!

It feels a little rough. Please feel free to pass on comment & critique on how to tighten it up. Thanks!


Blogger Dave said...

I'd leave this one pretty much alone. It came out great!

11:20 AM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

The poem is fine!...but wearing your dog? I guess it's no different than having your loved one burnt into a diamond to wear as a pendant around your neck, or as a ring.

12:05 PM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

Thanks Dave, pepek! A dead-person diamond? No way! I wear my cat hair with pride, but they're all still alive!

12:10 PM  
Blogger chicklegirl said...

This made me think of both my parents, who've lost beloved dogs in the past few years. Making their fur into a hat or sweater is a quirky but still poignant way to feel close to much-missed friends.

I felt the pathos tangibly, especially in the line "the salt will stiffen the fur."

12:38 PM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

this is beautifully sad, we had collected fur from our rabbit while she was alive and I'm still using it to make things now she's gone, but I don't think I could have sheared her when she was dead

2:29 PM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

now that you mention it, i'm not sure if they sheared the dog before or after death. quite sure they used hair from around the house. does it have to be true to be in a poem, though? i

2:37 PM  
Blogger Linda Jacobs said...

Loved this, Jill! Recycling at its best! I wouldn't do anything to it!

8:50 PM  
Blogger Mariacristina said...

Whimsical and endearing, all in one, with a touch of bizarre. Love it! I'm imagining those adorable labradoodles. Have you seen their fluffy hair? Still... a sweater? Kinda icky. :)

9:34 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

I like it the way it. The rawness makes a greater impact.

A great post!

garbled garbage

10:36 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

with two very fur challenged friends of my own,,i have often wondered what i could have built out of all the hair they have lost in the last ten or so years....

what a great "immediate poem" i loved it

10:59 PM  
Blogger Rob Kistner said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:01 AM  
Blogger Rob Kistner said...

Fascinating post, and quite interestingly written, an engaging read -- but as to the source of your inspiration... eewwwww -- :( ...wearing your dead dog is just plain WRONG!

4:05 AM  
Blogger January said...

This is bizarre--I love it! Great detail.

Y'know, you should read this one in public and see what kind of reaction you get. Or, workshop it with a group of writers.

3:56 PM  

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