wah memories

what noise

[[memory, winter, 1996]]


That third morning and all the hard snow piled

up in drifts by my window — In China,


I’m told, dogs go, “wah-wah.” But here? Hunched

on three legs, the mother dog, hyena-


patchy fur and fleas, would greet me every

morning. “Vat e shoon!”/ Bad dog! my neighbors


would say. I’d leave her scraps while the grisly

end of her stump would trail behind, canker’s


blossom, as she followed me down the street.

What noise does the forgotten make? The frost?


The third night of a hard snow? I don’t know.

But that morning she wasn’t there to greet


me. I called. I called. Then I found her lost

in a drift, frozen under my window.


][][


note:

In Armenian dog is “shoon” (շուն).