Poem of the Week, by Stephen Cushman

My poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.

Paco! Our new little guy, elegant, lively and full of curiosity and affection. An athlete too — no matter how fast we run the leash never slackens, and every dash through the living room involves catlike leaps on and off the couch. Everything interests him, but when I’m working, he turns into a quiet little comma and burrows close to me and the laptop. He’s supposedly about a year old but seems younger to me, a funny little puppy who rarely barks and reminds me of the dog in the poem below, a poem I loved years ago at first reading, just like we loved Paco at first sight.

Smaller Dog, by Stephen Cushman

We can’t all be
brightest in the sky

or the biggest guy
in outer space.

But I don’t envy
anybody’s place

or need to feel
I have no worth

because I’m far
from Orion’s heel.

My yellow-white
double star

delivers its light
to nearby Earth

in eleven years flat,
which is pretty fast,

but my other boast
is Helen: she

loved me most
of all her hounds,

and you can’t beat that.
So I, unsurpassed

in her esteem,
made no sounds

when secretly
they left for Troy.

He was the dream
igniting the dark

scarcity of joy.
How could I bark?

For more information about Stephen Cushman, please check out his website.

One comment

  1. Diane .Gottlieb · February 6, 2021

    Oh Paco!! So handsome he is! And love that he “turns into a quiet little comma” when you’re writing. Enjoy your smaller dog!

    Liked by 1 person

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