"Doggy Heaven"

"Doggy Heaven"

"Doggy Heaven"

Arts has moved! You can find new stories here.
A weekly poem, read by the author.
Sept. 28 2010 10:55 AM

"Doggy Heaven"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Colin Pope read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

Full of all the cats
that went to cat hell
and long strings of raw sausage
dangling from the windows
of empty storefronts:
it's a festival of disobedience.

All the rows of 10-penny teeth
gleaming in the forever sunshine,
latching onto slow and ghostly bumpers.
All the dry tongues and wet noses,
the ambiguous canine smiles
all relaxed and happy, going a little crazy
in the afterlife. Having earned it.
Having to us been
the faithful symbol of our character,
an accessory of all men


who go to our own heavens
only to find those homey, baleful eyes
nowhere in sight. Truly

the saddest thing is that they separate us.
That given the gift of love and companionship
we soldier through our lives feeling heroic

turning back to see them following, and then
outside the pearly gates, nothing

but an unanchored line of people
that goes on forever.


Colin Pope holds the Rose Fellowship from Texas State University and is poetry editor of Front Porch.