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See how the title runs into the acrostic? This title really doesn’t stand very well on its own; so, I thought I would helpfully point this out to you since the typefaces I am allowed here don’t allow the acrostic to present itself as forcefully as it does in my regular format. I hope that is not too patronizing. Anyway, here is the poem, and the title once more:

I Do Not Love That Dog

My darling, beloved, loyal, good dog-soul,
Outside our sweet life together, at times—
Realistically beyond my control—
Every so often, I may chance to find
That another member of your great kind
Has found its way to me (I KNOW YOU MIND),
And, so we briefly meet, as just new friends,
Not wanting anything more. I am sure
I could never love any other dog—
Like this newcomer, for instance—more than,
Oh, Sweetheart, I have always loved you.
Velvety-soft fur did not turn my head
Even for a second from your good heart.
Yep. We did not kiss: we only touched.
Oh, please, do not let wild jealousy start:
Understand I do not love him too much!!!

for “Roosevelt”

by Gwennon
October 18, 2017

This was one of those compositions that started out with, “I wonder if this might be possible….”, continuing with the title and acrostic being captured, along with one of the lines at the bottom, followed by by other lines out of order, written into the note section of my iPhone (this is one of those times I am very grateful to have this phone, as it replaces stacks of messy manuscript papers in my purse), referred to often as I fixed myself a late breakfast (it being a school day, and my having driven my son to school before walking at the mall, then heading home), and unexpectedly finished less than an hour after it began. Some of my favorite, and most-fun acrostic poems have begun writing themselves quickly this way, and considering that some of my acrostic sonnets have taken weeks, and sometimes months, to complete, this was a very good surprise.

Those who like to analyze meter and rhyme schemes may notice a certain messiness between lines 5 and 12, which, I believe, accurately reflects the tone and message of the poem. Though there should be a constant, somewhat triangular tension holding a patterned poem, such as the sonnet, together, there are cases in which not all the elements (meter, rhyme, and story) exert equal pressure. In one poem, meter may be compromised to move the story along. In another, rhyme may the short leg on the poetry stool. Since the poem is simply a frame for the story the writer wants to tell at the moment, story is the one element that the up-front poet will want to protect above the other elements.

Moving right along, my lovely (I thought) poem spectacularly failed in its mission to enlighten and satisfy the beautiful, often-understanding doggie for whom it was written. If he hadn’t pestered me so frequently with endless questions about a dog I accidentally met, and only briefly, (the operational word being “briefly”) at the mall for less than five minutes, the poem may never have been written. In reality, my meeting with “the other dog” may have have less than three minutes before the dog left me to go on to the next person. Referring back to line 14 in the poem, you may notice that “the other dog” and I shared no kisses. And though I did not write about it here, we also shared no hugs. For me, that was huge. But my own doggie-love discounted all of that and allowed himself to marinate in insecurity and offense for the rest of the day, and I am not sure he fully understands what I am trying to tell him with this poem: he has not been replaced in my heart, nor will he be. Everyone says that dogs love unconditionally and are so forgiving. My answer to that is, “Yep. Usually. But not always.”

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