Poetry with Don Intonato

November 2020


I had a dog,
an English Setter,
a big white dog
speckled with orange,
named Wiliam Shakespeare,
Willy for short,
a divorce dog,
which is a dog
you get stuck with
after a divorce,
who, when I brought
him to the beach
for the first time
and unleashed him
on the sand,
bounded for the surf
and swam out as far as he could.

I dived into the waves
and swam to rescue
that crazy dog.
When I reached him,
his brown eyes
searched for an answer.
“She’s gone, Willy,” I said.

I turned him on his back,
wrapped my arm
around his chest
and sidestroked him
back to shore.
Out of the water,
he shook himself off
and went to sleep
on the blanket
under the umbrella.

After a while,
a white poodle named Moliere
came and sat beside him.
Then O’Neill, a Wolfhound.
Then a black Terrier named Tennessee.
By sunset there were five dogs
sitting beside Willy
on the blanket,
veterans of unrequited love,
looking out at the brokenhearted sea.


How brave you are,
Little Flame,
to burn so brightly
in the dark,
dancing on the candle’s wick,

When so lightly
one indifferent breath
can all too soon
blow out your flickering light.

And all that is left
of your precocious life,
a startled wisp of smoke
Fleeing into the night.

~ For Meri