NaPoWriMo Prompt Seventeen

Day Seventeen On April 17, 2022

“…here’s our daily (optional) prompt. This is a fun one – it’s a prompt developed by the comic artist Lynda Barry, and it asks you to think about dogs you have known, seen, or heard about, and then use them as a springboard into wherever they take you.”


Well, I’m mostly a cat person, so…but there is one dog, lives next door. Still a puppy, but the voice is well-developed by now.

No Life for a Sled Dog

Mornings, early, he’s let out

into the yard near my kitchen window.

Not much to amuse him: a water bowl, bricks,

planters filled with dirt to scratch in.


He whines. And whines. Then breaks into a howl:

the kind of sound you hear out in the woods

when there’s wolves about. He holds a note

like an opera star: high-pitched and sorrowful.


Dog’s too big, too full of energy for a townhome.

He ought to be out running, not tied up in a sparse

yard. Not held on a short leash when it’s walk time.

I feel sad to hear him sing his dog song.


Evenings, he accompanies the piano I can hear

through the living room wall. Sometimes the sound

rises to the bedroom, but faint, and I wonder what

the words might be if he had words to sing.

Carol A. Stephen

April 17, 2022

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