The Three-Legged Dog at the Heart of Our Home


She dances to the wheeze of my lungs. Were she taller,
or had she both hind legs, she would lick my aching knees.
There’s nothing like practice I firmly believe. Practice

makes the heart grow fond. When the graft heals,
you’ve apples on a cherry tree, delicious domestic freaks.

I had a splendid grandmother, I might have made her up.
She wore cotton dresses, usually blue, and glasses
with thin gold frames and plastic cushions for the nose.
The plastic was slightly pink, intended

to blend with the flesh. She never raised her voice.
Her knuckles enlarged, her goiter enlarged.
There are ways within ways. A man will go down
displaying himself in a nursing home. The mystery left,

and there’s more than when we began,
has nothing to do with reticence, or safety.

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