By Cathryn Essinger
Stalking the Wild Fettucine

Last night my dog came home from the fields
carrying a bowl of mushroom fettucine.

She waited at the door like an invited guest
presenting a bottle of wine.

"I didn't know it was carry-in," my husband said,
opening the door to accept the gift.

I poked at the grey gelatinous mass with a spoon
before sending it down the Dispose-All.

There was a time when she brought us squirrels
so fresh you could see surprise in their eyes,

and chipmunks with petunias still clenched
between their teeth, but today it is fettucine.

"She is losing her edge," my son says
as he hands her the rest of his lasagna.

No one is doubting her hunting abilities--
she can still cut and corner with the best--

or any of her other senses for that matter,
but when did she start to prefer a delicate roux

over licking her own bowl clean, and where
does that put any of us on the food chain

if I defer from dabbing rosemary into the roast
because it causes her to wrinkle her nose

and back away? What she prefers is any animal
dish, basted in its own juices, au jus,

the Julia Child method, with enough salt and butter
to make up for the fact that the animal is dead.



From Mid-American Review
My Dog Does Not Read Plato