This poem was written April 20, 1999. I don’t know why I didn’t send it to more magazines back in the day, because it was published all three times I offered it. Who knows — maybe an alert editor will see it here and ask to publish it. Or maybe he or she will simply smile, and wonder what the other editors could have possibly seen in a poem so short and unpretentious, even though the answer is obvious: they saw themselves, and thought their readers might, too.
“He Knows” appeared in The Rockford Review, The Oregonian, and Barbaric Yawp. Thanks to its publication on the front page of the living section in the Saturday edition of a major newspaper, I can honestly say it has been seen by hundreds of thousands of readers. Notice, I said seen, not read. On the other hand, there were probably a few people who read it more than once that day, wondering, like the foregoing editors, why on earth the poem was published in the first place.
Stop. Let’s not be foolish.
The dog’s on the porch
listening to our every word.
See? He’s looking in.
It isn’t fair to make him witness
our lazy crime of selfishness,
especially on such a fine
warm fall day.
Look at him. He knows.
We should be out chasing rabbits,
not standing here in the kitchen
barking at each other
without a bone between us.
Another Song I Know, Cosmopsis Books, 2007