Dear Pup

Dear Pup:


You are coming.


You are so small, and your eyes protrude.

White exterior, you are pink beneath.


Upon first glance, this does not reflect

an innate ability to hold your own.


It suggests potential allergies, anxious tremors,

broken leg bone jumping from the couch.


Flinching in the face of larger forces:

passing cars, fireworks, retrievers

I can’t recall if

I’ve heard you bark


And yet


When I feared you might be deaf,

a doorknob turned in the other room


You knew


Foster mom calls you jack-in-the-box

she says you like to pounce


Upon introduction to the neighbor’s dog

you met her,

nose to nose


I withhold judgment,

sensing in you

a force

both tender and brave


Sharp as a tack

quick in a jam

full capacity yet unseen

perhaps vigilant, and true


Our pack waits

under the winter moon

we listen for your name


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