Blog Post / Fall 2016 / Issues / Poetry / Poetry 2016 / Volume 47

Our Dog Turns Thirteen–Jacob M. Appel

Should we cater a bar mitzvah?
We settle for peanut butter pupcakes,
pumpkin-bacon crisps. Little need
for a fog machine. It’s no birthdate,
after all, no anniversary of arrival—
just an arbitrary day on the calendar,
chosen to assuage our ten-year-old,
now eighteen and away at school.


That’s forty-six thousand dog days,
nested inside human years
like Russian dolls. My girl laughs
as I narrate his canine feast:
tongue, an oiled spatula, slathering
frosting; metronomic tail wagging
toward infinity.

Neither knows what is coming.

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