Jigs

Hi everyone,

When I wrote the poems for THE ALLIGATOR IN THE CLOSET, one — “Death of a Wasp” — struck my editor, Wendy Murray, as just the right voice for another collection. The poem made her teary and she wondered if I could create a whole book of poems that struck with the same force.

Eventually this led to the book, CONNECTING DOTS, an autobiographical collection beginning with my early memories from age 3 through my age at the time the book was completed at 65. The opening poem is about our dog, an English Bulldog named Jigs.

I was four years old and playing in the back yard. Jigs was napping on the top step into the back porch. I needed to go to the bathroom rather urgently and went dashing up the steps. Jigs stood up but wasn’t inclined to move. Here’s the poem.

JIGS

Jigs stands on the top step,
blocking my way inside,
feet planted,
back sagging like
he’s holding up the world.

“Move, Jigs.”
I push him hard.

Wheezing,
gurgling deep down,
his wet mouth opens.

I shove his shoulder.
“Move!” I say.

Pug nose wrinkling,
mouth moves,
snaps.

“Jigs!”

He jumps off
with a rude noise
for the quieter shade
of the yard.

I stare in shock
at what he’s done,
feel the pain begin
like fear.

Holding my thumb,
I run in, screaming
my disbelief.

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2 comments on “Jigs

  1. And you would remember this, even from a long time ago. Growing up brings surprises, some we wouldn’t want to have happen. I’m glad you shared this, David. I don’t know this from you.

    • Thank you, Linda. I still show my small scar to kids in schools when I read that poem. I tell them it taught me to plan ahead and be gentler.

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