America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)



Unrequited, Or A Dog His Doggerel

By William Craig Rice

Since you won稚 have me as your man,

Imagine I知 a dog

Who痴 always gaga to see you

And get taken for a jog.

I知 accustomed to the leash you snap,

No longer tug or chew.

Obedience-training was brutal,

But forged my love for you. 

The single daily meal you allow,

It sends me into a tizzy.

I drool and spin and double-bark

And wolf it down in a jiffy.

My every canine need you answer,

But for a hug and pat,

Which you so coldly deny me

If I whine: Stop that!

Let痴 go for a swim while on this walk.

I値l fetch the stick you toss,

And drop it at your lovely feet. 

I exist to please you, boss.

I値l lodge my muzzle on your knee

And listen to your woes.

I知 your perfect silent therapist,

All ears and eyes (and nose). 

As a dog at least I get to lick

Your cheeks and lips and chin,

My breathing quick, my whiskers stiff・/p>

This borders on masculine.

I worry I値l wag my tail too hard

And dash your vase of flowers

If you let me through your front door・/p>

I must control my powers.

Reject me all you like, my love,

But take me on a walk.

I値l keep my dirty paws off you,

and never learn to talk.

15 November 2015

William Craig Rice has worked as a schoolteacher, auto mechanic, college teacher and president, and federal official. His verse has recently appeared in The Caribbean Writer, The New Criterion, and The Road Not Taken. He lives in Washington, DC.