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GROOMING
by April Halprin Wayland

One mud-spotted,
monkey-vomit-yellow,
XXXXL, men’s hooded sweatshirt:
check.

One pair of paw-stained,
dull blue,
quilted men’s sweatpants:
check.

One pair of
indeterminate-colored
extra-thick men’s socks:
check.

One pair of dusty grey,
fifteen-year-old running shoes,
tossed in the Goodwill bag, then retrieved:
check.

One pair of old guy
scratched black, wrap-around plastic sunglasses
that Uncle Davie gave me when he moved:
check.

One bouncing-off-the-wall,
lanky, licky,
too-tall teenaged dog:
check.

There’s no disguising it:
I’m a dog park dork.

Poetry Prompt:

Observation, said my mentor, Myra Cohn Livingston, is the key to good writing.¬† One day I looked, really looked at what I wear at the dog park in winter–oy! ¬† Check all fashion sense at the double gate.¬† Your best friends there are wacky, passionately friendly, and they have big, muddy paws.

It’s your turn.¬† Slow down.¬† Be present.¬† Observe one facet of your life.¬† How do people in your galaxy dress?¬† Or look for one color all day long.¬† What’s bright yellow?¬† What’s your attitude about this thing you’ve observed?¬† Does it make you laugh?¬† Make you feel self-conscious?¬† Make you want to run out of the room howling?¬† Write a poem so that we see it through your eyes.


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