Dog Pack 

The dog loves the woman.

I think of Thumper (dumbass name)

named by dumbass couple, Bedford, NY.

She didn’t need no lousy name.

I don’t need a word, she might have said.

Muscles rippling down 149th Street

the color of mottled sunset.

I saw her unmuzzle her companion

a slow-witted excitable girl

who was a biter.

She seemed to know me from pack memory

greeted me with hurling body hugs

stayed close each time I visited

and there were months between those visits

chose to sleep with me in guest room bed

like Lucian Freud’s whippet and woman

maybe remembering when I ran with her.

Was I…No, she had to be the leader

trotting down and up St. Ann’s Avenue

followers sniffing the gallop at her flanks.

I run with my girl.

What is it about

no familial connectivity

(long……..story)

but I have been recognized

by birds in the parrot family

cats, dogs and, I believe, crocodilians.

Long after I wish I forgot 

that dumbass couple

I run with my girl.


Ed. note: To preserve formatting, an image of the poem is being used.

Linda Umans taught for many years in the public school system of New York City where she lives, studies, writes. Recent publications include poems in SpillwaySpiral OrbComposite {Arts Magazine}DIALOGISTCarbon Culture ReviewThe Maine Review, LIGHT – A Journal of Photography and PoetryGris-GrisThe Broadkill Review2 Bridges Review, and pieces in Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood.

Image by Franz Stuck [Public domain]

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