[[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.
In Armenian dog is “shoon” (շուն).