John Ciardi


Suburban


Yesterday Mrs. Friar phoned.'Mr. Ciardi,
how do you do?' she said. 'I am sorry to say
this isn't exactly a social call. The fact is
your dog has just deposited-forgive me-
a large repulsive object in my petunias.'

I thought to ask, 'Have you checked the rectal grooving
for a positive I.D.?' My dog, as it happened,
was in Vermont with my son, who had gone fishing-
if that's what one does with a girl, two cases of beer,
and a borrowed camper. I guessed I'd get no trout.

But why lose out on organic gold for a wise crack
'Yes, Mrs. Friar,' l said, 'I understand.'
'Most kind of you,' she said. 'Not at all,' I said.
I went with a spade. She pointed, looking away.
'I always have loved dogs,' she said, 'but really!'

I scooped it up and bowed. 'The animal of it.
I hope this hasn't upset you, Mrs. Friar.'
'Not really,' she said, 'but really!' I bore the turd
across the line to my own petunias
and buried it till the glorious resurrection

when even these suburbs shall give up their dead.

Submitted: Monday, June 24, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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