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.

Dark in Light

photo by Elizabeth


Wanted to show you the moon
but cruised off the wrong ramp
and wound up in a war zone
where there is no curfew:
men standing solo in the middle of the street
or huddled, talking beneath burned-out lamps;
wanted to show you the soccer moon
but drove down darkened roads with bars 
enclosing windows and doors,
barbed wire spiraling a hardware 
store and nursery—planks and daisies 
out of reach;
wanted you to count the seas
across that haloed orb
but drove alone 
through neighborhoods as treeless
as that dog-song moon;
beat-up cars driven 
beyond unmarked borders
pulled over by uniforms 
with clubs and guns,				
jagged tension cutting concrete air;
I want to know who 
declared this war of Americans
against Americans:
children peer from sheeted windows,
women hide behind hollow doors,
a man looks up from an empty street, 
each of us equal 
distance from the sun’s reflective sphere.

Thank you to the editor of Something Like Homesickness for first publishing this poem.


photo by Elizabeth

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate,
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet, as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time’s unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand. 

Claude McKay, 1921 

Shenandoah Literary