Buster Gets a Bath, Take 2

THE OLFACTORY VARIATIONS OF BUSTER KEATON FOKKER HOUDINI

Big-hearted-woman-who-
smells-of-mulberries
hides hose behind back
chants Buster-Wuster-Wuster,
That’s a good boy.

Quick, run behind the fish pond,
escape into vinca minor.

Good boy, wilier than Brother-dog,
ensnared by a liver snap,
now trembles in the sun, sweet-sour
moldy melon skink cedar scent
ebbs in lemon foam.

In the shadow of the hemlock
Good boy tilts Fokker-tail-plane ears.
Big heart waters tomato pots, hums
La dee dah, la dee dah dah dah
La dee dah…

Paws over nose luxuriate
in good-boy elixir: dandelions
braided rug mildew
Thursday night ozone
Sunday’s stroganoff
Monday’s muskrat.

Gate slams on good-boy dreams
when Big heart springs from vinca,
tugs collar with gentle firm hands
crabwalks to the sun
no space to bolt; no
Houdini today.

It’ll be okay, she la dee dahs,
pouring lemon on my head
sudsing away my deliciousness
rakes fingers across my ribs
Now doesn’t that feel good?

Bear it, bear it, stone-faced
as my first namesake, quiet too
as lemon stings my eyes, remember
scratch on leg from blackberry vine
before I’m swaddled in lavender
held against Big heart’s chest.

I forgive you, now let me go, go, go
back to the vinca, back to the fishpond
one hundred days of lollygagging
one hundred tussles with Brother-dog
one hundred headbutts with Sister-cat
one hundred nights of fenceless dreams
before I’m good boy again.

~ Ashley Memory
June 17, 2016

buster3

Although Buster is fairly Zen about most things (unlike Brother-dog), judging from his broad smile, I think he’s much happier with Take 2.

So what do you think? Let’s take a poll. Which version do you prefer? Take 1 or Take 2? Comment on this post and we’ll tally the votes.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Maggie Zwilling
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 12:59:16

    I like take 2. He seems to have his mind more wrapped around the bathing process.

    Reply

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