Today's poem is by Susanna Roxman

Written By Pavlov’s Few, Sad, Last Surviving Dogs

Aging dogs, shabby dogs,
shaggy and darkened like last year’s haycocks,
we cannot forget what we were:
golden tangible proofs;
pioneers of the Surface.

How could we get over our puppyhood
in that garden of pale tiles
and stainlessly spouting steel fountains:
the Pavlovian Institute.

With what nostalgia we remember
the assistants´ footfalls at dusk,
their friendly bell, the vibrations
of their gong, a brazen full moon,
and all at once

that perfect service, those delicious dishes,
fragrance of porridge and pie,
crunching of toast and rusk.
Our tails were happy then, our ears elated,
our salivation made a lake.

Now not even a bone to split,
not even gristle to chew.

The Master gave up reporting,
became an object himself.
His coat doesn’t bulge or billow.
The ghost of sugar clings to its cuffs.

A bell still buzzes, a gong clangs,
but there is nothing to follow,
no footsteps, no key in the lock.
Above all the succulent dinners are gone.
Pathetic, obedient, we sit waiting as before,

conditioned to believe in a sequence,
in causality, matter, and motion.
We’re caged in a fallacy, ergo propter hoc.
We dabble in theories, dribble on the floor.
Our silver saliva is creating an ocean.

To stop reacting correctly
must be the last and slowest thing to learn.

Copyright © 2003 Susanna Roxman All rights reserved
from Cimarron Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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