Buster Gets a Bath: Take 1

One of the things I’m striving for this summer is to write poetry more frequently and to  revel in simple joys. And in this case, bathing a dog. If you’ve ever done it, you know firsthand that the experience certainly evokes all the senses, which means it’s crying out for poetry. Take 1 below.

How to Give Buster a Bath

Don’t bathe Finn first; he’ll see the hose
run behind the fish pond and cower
All nonchalance later, lifts a dry leg
here and there. Maybe you forgot.

No baby talk, no Buster-Wuster-Wuster
He knows it’s his turn, his own scent just right
sour-sweet musk of moldy orange, Sunday’s stroganoff
compost to you, truffles to a dog.

Even in surrender, you’ll crabwalk him by the collar
into the sun where the water won’t sting
rake your knuckles across trembling ribs,
coo, hope, now doesn’t that feel good?

Forget the 15-minute soak to kill the fleas
They’ll be back anyway, so make it quick, squirt
yourself so he’ll see that you can take it too but when it’s over
Swaddle him in lavender, cow-licked heart against yours

Don’t let him go until you feel the square-eyed nutmeg
gaze of forgiveness and watch him run, run, run
freed from a lengthy and undeserved jail term
snout in the air, cry-barking to his own god, Hallelujah.

~ Ashley Memory / June 14, 2016

What do you think? Here’s what the ultimate authority thinks.

“First, you give me a bath. And then this! Substandard poetry. Jeez…”

Need I say more? He is NOT happy. So I sent it to my tough-as-nails-got-to-be-cruel-to-be-kind muse Mary, who concurred, echoing Buster’s own thoughts.

“I think this needs to be a Buster-persona poem.  You are translating too many thoughts, emotions, statements that belong to him.  :-)”
If anyone can channel a dog, Mary can. It helps that she knows her stuff, too, when it comes to poetry. And this author is inclined to agree. So stay tuned for Take 2. And don’t worry, Buster won’t have to endure another bath.




2 thoughts on “Buster Gets a Bath: Take 1

  1. I agree with your sister, although I hardly ever agree with my own sister named Mary. Go with Buster’s persona. What you have here though is quite a good capture of my own dog’s reactions to bathing. Made me smile & reminded me Luke (the dog) needs a bath!

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