Other Wind
10 / June10 / June10 / June

Dog on the Driveway

for Oprah, a good dog gone

Dark dog burnt with red
like clay beneath the soil,
puffed coat hung with clods of dirt and tangled grass,
you stood, face expectant,
where car doors opened on the gravel drive,
steady for scratching fingers and rubbing hands,
pawing knees when minds wandered from the petting.

I’ve been told you just showed up one day
and stayed to become family.
You walked the fields with Pap-paw,
ran when Mam-maw’s whistle blew,
chased the truck toward the highway
with a fury, with a fit of youth
we never would have suspected
rested behind that chin growing gray,
that slow gait on the gravel.

I’ve been told these things,
but I knew you as the dog on the driveway.
I knew your grease on my hand,
your jutting nose
between my legs in stride to the door,
halting me for one more scratch
before I went inside.

You were a good dog
with soft eyes.

We learned this past weekend, that Oprah, David’s grandparents’ dog, died last Wednesday. She was killed by a passing truck that didn’t bother to stop afterward. A family friend, driving a ways behind, saw it happen. I loved this dog. She was gentle, and I think people could have learned a lot from her had they even thought of learning from a dog.

Just read your poem about Oprah, and even though you and others may think I'm being bias, if those were all your words, you could have it published. Very

Also read about Martha, sounds as if she is having a very hard time. Know she is real happy having you and David next door.

Take care, love you

Posted by: Mom on June 12, 2003 07:45 AM

I posted on my site a recent picture that I took of Oprah to complement this poem.


Posted by: daser on June 12, 2003 10:36 AM

Thanks, Mom.

Posted by: Wendy on June 12, 2003 08:40 PM

I agree with Mom. Very good. You have captured something very real in your words, and reminded me of soft brown eyed dogs I too have known. Thanks. T

Posted by: Timothy Tucker on August 6, 2003 12:06 PM