Grooming?

photo by Elizabeth

I used to paint and knit. Now I groom my healthy dog’s fast-growing hair. I trim at least a quarter cup of hair a day yet one would guess since it grows so fast!

So when I saw these short-haired shedding dogs, I laughed aloud that that Ziggy’s uses these images to advertise “GROOMING.”

A bath and maybe a nail trim is nothing in comparison with the hours I spend each week brushing and cutting hair.

Many. Hours.

Even having had large Collies and a Malemute did not prepare me for how time consuming this little 16 lb non-shedder could be. Though non-shed is a misnomer. She sheds, just like a person, very little. And her hair just keeps growing.

It grows thick and fast and doesn’t stop to ensure that her feet retain traction on the ground, but instead her paws mutate into large balls of fur. Without a severe trim at least once a week, her winter-rabbit paws are so slick with hair that she’ll slip and slide as if our floors are ice. Which leads to injury just like when people run on ice with slick bottomed shoes.

In other words, the dogs pictured do not warrant the term “grooming” any more than lounging in a hot tub is like riding a ten foot wave.

Día de Muertos

painting & photo by Elizabeth

THE CHOIR

I walk and I rest while the eyes of my dead
look through my own, inaudible
hosannas greet
the panorama charged serene
and almost ultraviolet with so much witness.
Holy the sea, the palpitating membrane
divided into dazzling fields and whaledark by the sun.
Holy the dark, pierced by late revelers and dawnbirds, 
the garbage truck suspended in shy light, 
the oystershell and crushed clam of the driveway, 
the dahlia pressed like lotus on its open palm.
Holy the handmade and created side by side, 
the sapphire of their marriage, 
green flies and shit in condums in the crabshell
rinsed by the buzzing tide.
Holy the light--
the poison ivy livid in its glare, 
the gypsy moths festooning the pine barrens, 
the mating monarch butterflies between the chic boutiques.
The mermaids handprint on the artificial reef. Holy the we, 
cast in the mermaid's image, smooth crotch of mystery and scale, 
inscrutable until divulged by god
and sex into its gender, every touch
a secret intercourse with angels as we walk
proffered and taken. Their great wings
batter the air, our retinas bloom silver spots like beacons.
Better than silicone or graphite flesh absorbs
the shock of the divine crash-landing.
I roll my eyes back, skylights brushed by plumage of detail, 
the unrehearsed and minuscule, the anecdotal midnight
themes of the carbon sea where we are joined: 
zinnia, tomato, garlic wreaths
crowning the compost heap.

 Olga Broumas 

Día de Muertos