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by April Halprin Wayland

If you’re my agent,
you tell me my writing stinks
and not to call you
or email
or send you a box of chocolates
or take you to see another Broadway show
ever again.

If you’re my husband,
you tell me you’ve met someone else,
with blue eyes who actually likes to wear high heels
and has a master’s degree in advanced mathematics
and runs a huge corporation
but only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
and she never has bad breath
so good-bye.

If you’re my friend
you tell me you’re sailing away
or flying somewhere far, like, for example, just to be extreme,
to Rhode Island,
and that sometimes, like fairly frequently,
you’ll be off the grid,
not reading emails
and to go away
because you really can’t be bothered
you have two teenagers and a busy life
and I can always check up on you on Facebook
or fly to Fiji, if I’m in the neighborhood,
even though, it takes 10 hours to fly to Nadi.

If you’re my dog
you lie down softly
and close your eyes
and your heavy breathing
and when I come to pet you
your tail
barely thumps…

that’s what I hope will never happen.

This is a list poem.

The title of today’s poem is one of my friend Robin Rector Krupp‘s prompts for a story problem.  I put some of these on the board in my classroom one day…and this one inspired me.

Bruce says:
“This poem was EXCELLENT. Heart-wrenching.  And it made me cry at the last stanza about the dog (And feel a little guilty about that 3rd stanza)

But it really choked me up.

Well done.

Not sure you need the final line. ADR (Bruce’s wife) says to leave out the last line of the last stanza “And then…”  Which is a good idea. Maybe the ellipses after “thumps” and leave it at that?”

This is our old dog, Rosie, when she was 15.
She died in our arms when she was 17. R.I.P, Golden Girl.

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