Heather McHugh

(20 August 1948 / San Diego, California)

Half Border, Half Lab - Poem by Heather McHugh

Customs and chemistry
made a name for themselves
and it was Spot. He’s gone to some
utopos now, the dirty dog, doctor of
crotches, digger of holes. Your airy clarities be damned,
he loved our must and our mistakes—why hit him, then,
who did us good? He’s dead, he ought
to be at home. He’s damned
put out, and so am I.

* * *

When blue is carried out, the law is red.
When noon is said and done, it’s dusk again.
The greed for table makes the greed for bed.
So cave canem, even stars have litters—little
lookers, cacklers, killers . . . Morning raises up
the hackled men. (What’s
milk, among our ilk, but
opportunity for spillers?)

* * *

He saved our sorry
highfalutin souls—the heavens haven’t saved a fly. Orion’s
canniness who can condone?—that starring story, strapping blade!— 
and Sirius is just a Fido joke—no laughter shakes the firmament.
But O the family dog, the Buddha-dog—son of a bitch!
he had a funny bone—


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 24, 2012



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