Poem: A woman crossed the road

August 14, 2021

A woman crossed the road

                         when she saw my Staffy
and I wanted to call out she’s a honey!
she only bites her food, and she loves
to lie on her back, let the sun delve
into her belly, and when I watch her,
I feel happy, almost as happy as when she
sees me, and her tail wags her body,
but I could not help but feel punctured
by the woman equating this dear dog with
violence, I could not help feeling anger,
and realised she had turned one part of me
into a poor imitation of how she sees Staffies,
for I felt like chasing her, shaking the nonsense out,
out of her head, and instead I reached down,
and patted the keg of a dog that she had spurned
just because dog-she carries a sad history 
written by some thoughtless people
upon her plump body and her muscled breed.

She wagged her tail, oblivious.
My lips stretched to a smile.

PS Cottier


Pretty self explanatory, that poem. We’ve been in lockdown in Canberra for a couple of days now, and walking the dog is the only exercise worth doing.

7 Responses to “Poem: A woman crossed the road”

  1. lisatimpf said

    I hear you. I once had a border collie cross named Sneeks. Though we were never 100% certain of her ancestry, the seller believed her to be part Staffy–she was much broader in the chest and head than a full-on Border. Sneeks proved to be a wonderful dog, quirky and smart. Though Staffies get a bad rap in some quarters, I’m glad we didn’t let that deter us from bringing her into our family.

  2. Maryanne Lynch said

    Hey Penelope I would come and pat your baby girl anytime! Maryanne PS I think that your poem captures the fear we humans have of other species, exacerbated by the fear that we are currently experiencing due to the pandemic.

  3. Her cover shows that she is much loved. I had a dog once that I got given in Aussie. He was part blue heeler and a bit of dingo. We took him to Darwin after the cyclone …there were no fences and if he wasn’t tied up he would go and collect children’s small toys. He protected us from the buffalo when we slept outback. Back in NZ he looked a bit wild though. Love this poem Penny. Good luck with lockdown.

    • pscottier said

      Thanks Helen. I know of a cross dingo who looks like he was crossed with a corgi. They have a lot of ‘low riders’ in inland Australia. Don’t know about Darwin though.

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