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Running with the Dog

"Once a week, Wyatt comes with me"

Published onNov 26, 2023
Running with the Dog

Photo by Yurra Forat:

My third dog is almost a good running dog—
he only dawdles a little at good smells,
glaring from the corner of his dark brown
eyes when I want him to move on too quickly.

The others before him would stand their ground,
refuse to keep going or run out at a mad dash
for a few blocks and then tire, making me drag
them down the street like dead weight tied

to my hips. Once a week, Wyatt comes with me
up the rail trail away from town, where he otherwise
rarely goes. On one side, there’s a doggie daycare
where other dogs prompt his surprised head to tilt.

On the other side, there’s a place called badknees,
which I imagine to be a special kind of gym
or physical therapist’s office that I’ll need someday
or could likely already use, two ACL reconstructions out

and an occasional throb in my right knee.
But it’s a tee-shirt store nestled behind
the iron and metal scrapyard on the way
to the neighborhood Habitat built.

And it is there that a bandanaed man
on a too small bicycle rides by, dressed in black
to match the black handgun holstered on his right hip,
right where Wyatt’s tugging leash rests

on my own pelvis. Then, he’s gone, moving
so much faster than Wyatt or I can manage,
and all I can think the rest of the way home is:
it must be hard to shoot a gun while riding a bike.

Genevieve Creedon is a scholar, poet, and essayist. She earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA Program and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan. Her writing across genres focuses on the wonders and mysteries of earthly life. She has lived in Connecticut, New York, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, and most recently, Indiana, and strives to explore the worlds around her with her canine companions. Her work has appeared in About Place, Cider Press Review, Frigg Magazine, Kelp Journal, Narrative Northeast, Plainsongs, Still: the Journal, and Whale Road Review, among others.

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