Story Poem – My Three-Legged Dog

My Three-Legged Dog is a story poem, a reflection on friendship, love, recovery and the power of the ordinary.

My Three-Legged Dog – Story Poem

My three-legged dog and I are one 
and the same, he likes licking his belly
as much as I like dancing around an ice
cream with my tongue, brain freezing
and descending into a winter of glut
snow and vengeful ice. His tail spins
when he gets a whiff of me, I see him
crestfallen when I leave. No one does
that. Maybe it’s because I keep his lost
limb in a jar on the mantlepiece or
‘cause I play fetch with him every day
ever since the amputation the day after I
left the hospital, marbles gathered, me
shoved out into a mountain of snow with
only a dog leash to guide me, the only
voices, the ones within, muffled. As he
jumped the garden wall, the neighbour's
hedge clipper stole his hindleg, the one
now in the jar on the mantlepiece. Keep
an eye on his stitches and change his
bandage every day, the vet told me, kept
saying how I had to walk him every day,
every day, every day, he said, had his
secretary phone me at the crack of
dawn every day, every day telling me to
walk the dog. So, I did. We must have
been a sight, him with his three legs,
hobbling, me on ice, shuffling, the sun
ahead
, the breeze behind, the road
rising up to meet us.

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Written by Anita Alig

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