Imprinting

 

One day, I was changing my daughter’s diaper

when a dog began to howl.  Just the mad howl

of a pent-up dog, but we both stopped breathing.

When I looked down at her again

I could see the wonder in her slack jaw,

the fear in her alexandrine eyes.

The shivering in my spine had just

subside when I told her “dau”

which is her word for dog.  She took

this idea quickly and the fear was gone

leaving only the wonder in her mouth.

It was then that I told her “werewolf”.

Someday, she will shiver in the daylight.

 

first published in Wind Row, Fall, 1983. Jerard Merit Award for Poetry, 1983.

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About johnsmithiiimxiii

John Smith, IIMXIII is the avatar of an award winning poet, artist, etc. who still lives in the Palouse country of the Pacific NW. He has not received much notice with his prose . . . but as his avatar, I hope that he keeps plugging along.

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