Do not give away the mutt that was hers
while away at school because the family
is moving again and cannot bear the burden
of a dog who licks too much, bends the rules
and stains the carpet. She loves him with all
she knows of love and that is a lot.
Goodbye’s are important.
When she swears to you there is a lion
walking across the perimeter of her crib
late at night, growling and snarling,
wanting to feed, believe it,
though she hasn’t accumulated language yet,
she has fists and cries and no idea
how to manipulate. It’s truth to her
and she’s afraid.
Turn the light on.
If you choose to be gone a lot,
see her round, worried face
through the window on your return,
as your headlights sweep across the glass.
Acknowledge this because she’s been there
If you send her to bed anyway,
do it with a thousand kisses, and an I love you
to the moon and back, a tickle would delight her.
A shoulder ride would seal the deal.
When she phones you at one a.m., sorry
for waking you, to ask for help because the situation
she’s found herself in has become unmanageable,
even as she tries her best to sound fine, go get her.
Wherever she is.
About the Author: Lisa Zaran
Lisa Zaran is the author of eight collections of poetry including Dear Bob Dylan, If It We, The Blondes Lay Content and the sometimes girl. She is the founder and editor of Contemporary American Voices. When not writing, Zaran spends her days in Maricopa county jails assisting women with remembering their lost selves.