BellaOnline Literary Review
Grand Opening by Carol Dandrade

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Gigi, The Skinny Pug

Kristen Kauffman

My heart breaks at her littleness,
how she crouches by the sliding glass door
and drowns in light,
how she goes outside, and must be supervised
(No back yard), no safe fence to keep
the coyotes out, and sometimes she carries
herself away on Chinese racing pug legs,
her tags jingling like music,
and my heart swells.

And then there’s the fear of losing
sight of her, or a mad javalina springing
from a bush, the fear of her squeal like
when the lab attacked her, her squeal of pain
and fear
and mommy-you-were-
She´s the runt, the baby, the tiny one,
all square pug face and broad chest and
narrow hips with silvery skin and
chicken thigh legs.

But this fear disappears
about 2 am, the moon
full on our faces,
her snore thick as a boar,
those little limbs
stretched out on my pillow,
and here I am sleeping
on the edge of the mattress.
She’s no longer little,
this hound that takes up
(or nearly)
the whole top
of the bed.

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