An apology to Archie
I would burrow my hand
In your baby hair fur,
To feel your skull’s hard ridge
Beneath the groomed, perfumed fairy floss.
Constellations of pollen
Dusted on a corkscrew coat.
By a plumed tail waved for joy
As you leapt in gangling, graceful beauty.
Padded paws suspended,
Floating above the lawn.
Trapped in my phone still
In all of your poodle perfection
That night we watched TV.
You sat, sphinx like, transfixed.
I lay, mouth slack in sleep,
Drool trailing on the baby in my arms.
Wrenched from sleep by the screams,
Curled contemptuous lip,
Deep, snarled growl of warning
from starfish hand.
We sat in the back of the car
And you lay your head in my lap.
I fed you liver treats
And told myself that it was for the best.
Do they burrow their hands
In your baby hair fur?
To feel the skull’s hard ridge
Protecting your betrayed bewilderment.