Dog Days by Bailey Merlin

I lay on the floor
with my dog, surrounded
by fluff and fleas,
listening to thunder,
hiding from lightning.

We wonder about mom:
What will life be
when she’s gone?

On the floor it’s easy
to pretend she’s dead.
We imagine the phone call,
signing the DNR. We practice
being orphans.

We dream we’re an island,
detached from our mainland.

What’s it like, my dog asks,
being lost at sea?

I stroke his stomach, watch
his hind leg kick, a mock
doggy paddle and wish
we never had to have
an answer.

# # #

Bailey Merlin is a graduate student in fiction at Butler University. She dedicates her time to working on a novel that is ruining her life and running writing for wellness programs. Her poetry has been published in the Avalon Literary Review.

Photo credit: Christina Salomon

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