From Mary Oliver’s Dog Poems (Penguin Press)
The Poetry Teacher
The university gave me a new elegant
class room to teach in. The only thing,
they said. You can’t bring your dog.
Its in my contract, I said. (I had
made sure of that.)
We bargained and I moved to an old
classroom in an old building. Popped
the door open. Kept a bowl of water
in the room. I could hear Ben among
other voices barking, howling in the
distance. Then they would all arrive–
Ben, his pals. maybe an unknown dog
or two, all of them thirsty and happy.
They drank, they flung themselves down
among the students. The students loved
it. They all wrote thirsty, happy poems.
Currently reading Permanent Member of the Family by Russell Banks (Harper Collins)