[poem] The Job of My Dog’s Paws

My dog is old now–soon to be eleven.  Here’s a little poem dedicated to her.  I so wish she could read this!

The Job of My Dog’s Paws

by Nayoung Jin

When the sun shines through the window, 

the first job is my morning call.

Her paws pressing on my chest

till her dream comes true

the dream of trampling wildflowers,

rolling in the wet grass.

The second job of her paws is sticking    

to my mom’s hand-made cushion

dyed by ripe persimmons.

When my hand tries to push the paws aside,

they never move an inch

feeling the fluffy cotton

like hands resting on Her Majesty’s chair.

The third job is ripping the cotton out of a rag rabbit,

making a hole in the center

like scooping up whipped egg white in a bowl

or like digging up white clouds in the sky

till every cloud loses its flesh

leaving blue scars.

The fourth job:

entertaining herself in the kitchen,

scattering a mound of broccoli, a row of carrot slices

chasing and sliding


like catching a fly just landed on the floor.

The paws then move to the next job:

scratching the bottom of the frying pan

until the spaghetti is all gone.

Their secret job must be finished

before I am done talking on the phone.

The final job

is to drag her belly silently, slowly, sneakily,

leaving behind only the smell of herbs and fried garlic  

until she arrives beneath the desk

under the shadow

where everything feels safe.

Thank you for reading! 🙂 Be safe, be happy! Take care!

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