NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 23

Today’s prompt: “write a poem about an animal.” (

Observations of My Dog at Play

She runs, bounds, flies along,
reveling in the freedom of motion,
muscular joy,
paws touching the ground
only in fleeting bursts,
her whole body accordioning—
stretched long,
compressed short,
a cycling dynamo—
the physics of fun,
the speed of play.

To move our bodies through space
as if the simple facts of gravity and contour
were brand new delights.

She stops
caught by a scent,
nose buried in the grass,
her whole attention engaged,
neurons lit up like fireworks,
tail wagging like to work itself loose.

Another dog approaches,
sniffing rear,
bumping noses,

Bark! Crouch with rump raised!
Tail wagging! Jump!

She wrestles!
Paws swiping,
jaws darting toward
neck, haunches,
legs searching for purchase,
seeking to trip her opponent.
Strategic weight distribution,
leverage and fulcrum,
muscular mechanics,
the physics of power.

Her happiness looks brutal,
snarling and violent,
but oh, so careful not to hurt.

She flips onto her belly,
eager for embrace,
happy to make peace.
Physical contact reinforcing friendship,
her friends, her pack,
group dynamics lived through the body.
The physics of friendship.

She rolls in the grass,
wriggling along the ground,
panting with joy,
reveling in sensation.

The physics of joy.


The phrase in italics is quoted from the article “Play Mountain” posted by 99% Invisible on April 23, 2019.

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