This Dog Is Not a Dog / Dear Auntie

Emily Bartholet

/, Issue 02, Poetry/This Dog Is Not a Dog / Dear Auntie
This Dog Is Not a Dog / Dear Auntie2017-12-29T23:12:59+00:00

Project Description

This Dog Is Not a Dog

Hershey. What else could you name a chocolate lab
but Hershey? Hershey wet mouth lapping
from a dirty stream. Hershey soft paw digging
out a metal stake. Hershey long claw scattering holes
across the yard, which my younger self tried to fill
with fallen leaves. When Hershey saw this, she tried
to wrestle me out of her yard, out of her home on Craig Road.
She rammed my mouth with the top of her head,
drew blood and knocked the corner off a tooth.

Our mother was furious.

It’s been ten years, and that tooth still doesn’t sit right
in my mouth. It’s been ten years, and Hershey limps up stairs.
Ferocious scatterbrain, she is an old, old girl, having chewed
her angry way through year after year. When I leave for college,
she starts sleeping outside my room, and when I visit,
the sneezes she plants on my feet say: Sister,

I could still take you.

Dear Auntie

In memory of Velva Grebe

You would have liked it here,
nestled in the shadow of a squirrel’s nest.
I imagine your hands

cradling the air like an egg.
Trees fold into one another
like the pages of your Bible,

each gold leaf unraveling
into parable or fickle,
frostbitten verse.

Here, the truth rests
hunched beside a memory:
that one day each field and forest

will shake itself upright
and write us both into that damp
biography of nothing.

Emily Bartholet

Emily Bartholet is a highly caffeinated student at Dickinson College, where she wishes she could major in everything. When she’s not studying, she can usually be found writing under a tree, or, when it rains, curled up in a beloved coffee shop. Her poetry has appeared online and in print, most notably in Third Point Press, Half Mystic, Inklette, and Rat’s Ass Review’s Love and Ensuing Madness collection.

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