Ode to Heidi

Don’t chew on our shoes.
Don’t chew on the chair.
Chew on the stuff
that you have over there.

You’ve got a stuffed dog,
some bones, and an oven mitt,
and yet you assume
that we’d rather get bit.

Off! Off! Get down!
Stop jumping so much.
Why must you want
what you’re told not to touch?

And what have I done
To invite play position?
With all of that energy,
I say, wash the dishes.

I have papers to write
and big books to read…
You’ve disappeared now.
I know it: you’ve peed.

I’ve had it. I’m done.
Go clean your own mess—
Don’t look at me like that.
Okay, fine, one kiss.

Topple eggs, chew leashes,
then eat up the spatula…
You give us big headaches
in all our amygdalas.

But one look into your
bearded brown mug,
and all (but Dad) cave in,
give you full-body hugs.

To think they’d have drowned you
when you were a pup…
For all of your messes,
we can’t give you up

to a world that is cruel
and needs such control…
Wait, that’s my phone cord!
Stop chewing that hole!

They say that you graduated
dog class with honors,
but off-leash, you play deaf,
poop in yards that aren’t ours,

and make me so angry—
I’ll pop you one good—
for biting and running…
…then you sit like you should.

For all the conundrums
your dog self enthuses,
we love you to pieces—
like all of our shoeses.

Heidi in the IndiBlanket


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