I think of my poems as dogs. Are you a good boy?
Yes, you are. Yes, you are. Rescued from
well-meaning workshops. Puppy mill fight clubs.
Bred for some hoped for external reward. Never
materializing. Or worse. Abandoned when refusing
to go where it’s told. Store bought, after haunting
lit window dioramas. Emo portrait poses. Moving
when I move. Dollar for a collar. Two for a dish.
Three for a tip. Here’s one: Pay to play is a finger wag.
Out in the wild, a poem follows me home, sensing
I’m an easy mark. Sits on my step. Sad-eyed. Needy.
Not exactly putting its paw in the door, but definitely
making it hard to turn my back and eat dinner. My fav
died. Of neglect and chagrin after it was run over.
A truck driven by harried well-meaning. I should
have seen it coming. Kept it off the busy road.
At least known how to nurse it back to health. I’m
wiser now. Surprising are the ones which take off
from a statement on the radio or a phrase overheard
on the train. Running down streets. Feral. Destined
to come home. Years later. Tail wagging. Fur matted.
Me in tears of joy. What does it all mean?
Ren Pike grew up in Newfoundland. Through sheer luck, she was born into a family who understood the exceptional value of a library card. Her work has appeared in Sublunary Review, Feral, and Confluence. When she is not writing, she wrangles data for non-profit organizations in Calgary, Canada.