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By A.E. Stallings

You squeezed its leash in your fist,
It followed where you led:
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
Nodding its wooden head.


Wagging a tail on a spring,
Its wheels gearing lackety-clack,
Dogging your heels the length of the house,
Though you seldom glanced back.


It didn’t mind being dragged
When it toppled on its side
Scraping its coat of primary colors:
Love has no pride.


But now that you run and climb
And leap, it has no hope
Of keeping up, so it sits, hunched
At the end of its short rope


And dreams of a rummage sale
Where it’s snapped up for a song,
And of somebody—somebody just like you—
Stringing it along.


Poem copyright ©2012 by A. E. Stallings, whose most recent book of poems is Olives, Northwestern University Press, 2012. Poem reprinted from Five Points, Vol. 14, no. 3, by permission of A. E. Stallings and the publisher.

Poet Bio

A.E. Stallings
A.E. (Alicia) Stallings studied classics at the University of Georgia and Oxford University. Stallings’s poetry is known for its ingenuity and wit, and dexterous use of classical allusion and forms to illuminate contemporary life. In interviews, Stallings has spoken to the importance of classical authors on her own work: “The ancients taught me how to sound modern,” she told Forbes magazine. “They showed me that technique was not the enemy of urgency, but the instrument.” She is director of the Poetry Center in Athens, Greece where she lives with her husband, John Psaropoulos, editor of the Athens News, and their son, Jason. See More By This Poet

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