To the Ugly, Old Dog

The years have given
you warts, 
that is why nobody wants
to touch your head. 
I remember
when you used
to bite at things
real and begged
for my hand.
Now, you sneer
at shadows,
and whimper 
from underneath
the bed. 

And to be unseen
is the only gift


An edited version of a poem originally published in the September issue of The Paperbook Collective.

Waiting at IHOP

She lost that light,
the only thing that shone
in Philipsburg, Montana. She’s been away
for fifteen years, still remembers them
begging her to stay, but she left
to make herself into something
great. Now, she isn’t
the star of any place, still waiting
tables until lunch is over.

Or maybe,
she never starved for anything
larger than a lifetime of wondering
about TV shows and of hoping
for a gentle moment–she waits
because she’s never thought
of anything more.