on how dogs choose their people

Lynne Schmidt
Content Warnings
"The day he proclaims,..."
Dec 28, 2020 9:51 PM

The day he proclaims,

I want a dog, too,

I shrug and say, Okay.

When he brings her to meet me,

I stop mid-step, taken by

the soft chocolate of her fur.

She’s beautiful, I whisper,

and she licks me.

In the days that follow,

she finds herself on my bed,

follows my dog and me to the bathroom,

lays outside the door and waits.

He seeths,

She is supposed to be my dog,

and yet, she has picked me,

because trauma recognizes trauma

and seeks it out.

When he takes my money,

my prescribed painkillers,

and his stuff,

I tell him to leave the dog.

When the vet consoles me, saying,

She was sick before she was yours,

All I hear is

She was yours.

Lynne Schmidt is a mental health professional and an award winning poet and memoir author who also writes young adult fiction. She is the author of the chapbooks, Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press), and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West). Her work has received the Maine Nonfiction Award, Editor's Choice Award, and was a 2018 and 2019 PNWA finalist for memoir and poetry respectively. Lynne is a five time 2019 Best of the Net Nominee, and an honorable mention for the Charles Bukowski Poetry Award and the Doug Draime Poetry Prize. She has been a resident at Firefly Farms, and in 2012 she started the project, AbortionChat, which aims to lessen the stigma around abortion. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans.