My W.O.M. poem for August

Hi everyone,

Here’s my DOG poem. My M.O.W. says I tend to come from some other place. I don’t know why she says that.

To Wolf or to Woof
David L. Harrison

Not all scientists agree
that dogs evolved from wolves.
Some say both came
from the same source.
But I believe
that somewhere in time
a guy with a spear –
out grunting his mate’s disapproval –
carried home cubs from a wolf kill.

I bet they amused him,
snarling, mock-fighting,
tumbling around the fire,
falling asleep on his chest.
But they were wild things
and at some point
must have eyed his baby
so he roasted them on a stick.

Other guys followed –
brought home cubs,
fattened them for a handy food supply –
until there came a time
(perhaps when kids started begging)
when some cubs were allowed to live,
reproduce, follow the tribe,
even help in the hunt
in return for scraps.
I bet their saving disgrace
was learning to let babies
pull their ears and not eat them.

At last the skinny cowering creatures
slinking a cautious mile behind the tribe
rolled onto their backs and surrendered,
licked the right fingers,
if you know what I mean,
napped at their masters’ feet.
No longer wolf,
though rough, no longer wild.

Your teacup Chihuahua
trembling at rain,
wetting himself at thunder,
has come a long way.
As his grandfather
six thousand generations ago
would testify,
running with people
takes the howl right out of you.


15 comments on “My W.O.M. poem for August

  1. “running with people / takes the howl right out of you”–indeed! You paint quite a picture. Clever, charming, and witty as always.

  2. I’ve often pondered the same things – and that last line sums it up nicely! We have a shit-zhu who drives me nuts and I can’t help but think if his great-granddad is embarrassed.

    And I know all about “learning to let babies / pull their ears and not eat them”…our Great Pyrenees, Rosie, gets her face & ears pulled in all directions by our 4-yr-old and now our 1-yr-old! She’s a good dog, that one.

    • Hi, Matt, and good morning. Glad the poem “clears up” these puzzling issues! Is there a pet dog alive who hasn’t had its ears pulled? Maybe that’s why their eyes look so sad. They know what’s coming.

  3. I gasped when the puppy got roasted, but I’m sure that’s the way it was. It’s easy to get sentimental in dog poems–you did not, and your poem is terrrrrrific!

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