Charm School [poem] by Catherine Doty

Back when I thought any good
kisser was a shaman, I needed a dog
to center and to calm me—not
some ukulele of a specimen stuffed
in a dress, but a solid, bow-legged
side-kick of mutt, one who could
handle an open door and a pig ear
and set a good example, one who
never lolled on the porch
with her tongue hanging out.

Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

[Refer: This poem put the editors in mind of Renée Ashley’s poem “The Crazy Dog Lady Ponders a Photograph from the Twenties.”]

Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Catherine Doty is the author of Momentum, a volume of poems, and Just Kidding, a collection of cartoons. She is widely published in journals and anthologies, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and The New York Foundation for the Arts.

Image by karen&2mutts