Toi Derricotte

(April 12, 1941 / Hamtramck, Michigan)

From A Letter: About Snow - Poem by Toi Derricotte

for Chana Bloch

I am at a retreat house,
and the nun who runs the house told me to look at my face in the mirror.
I did, but the only thing I keep seeing is the face of Snow, the huge
sheep dog.
He's so frightened, they can't let him off his leash!
His human eyes, long-suffering, like a saint who's forgotten how to smile.
I hear the breed is naturally shy, and this one was abused by his previous
No wonder he backs away!
But to see a creature so large―120 pounds―so timid.
Once, they say, scared by a deer, he broke his leash and ran.
A mile away a woman stopped with her pickup and he jumped right in!
Who knows why the frightened make decisions!
Today I jogged with him, his thick rangy self leading the way.
Now we're sitting in the shade by the community house while I write this

—from Tender 1997

Comments about From A Letter: About Snow by Toi Derricotte

  • Gold Star - 30,342 Points Sandra Feldman (1/18/2014 3:06:00 AM)

    I like it, I could feel the feeling of loneliness and the solidarity between Toi and the dog,
    By the way, Toi in French translates as You in English.
    French or English this woman has a sensitive heart. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, December 19, 2011

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