Spring 2018

Photo of a golden lab


by Donna J. Gelagotis Lee

Photograph Credit: Alonso Inostrosa Psijas

White Dog

Dawn. I descend to the lower
level of our home. And there
in the yard is a large soft-
haired white dog on its haunches,
statuesque yet cloud-like
in the morning haze. He
should have been in my
dream, or perhaps he is,
as I ascend, once again,
the stairs to my tranquil
room I had left too early,
sensing something had occurred
outside of myself. Something

has leaped into the neighbor’s garden,
white, untethered and
uncollared. Not going anywhere, just
a presence, watchful and whole. 

If my dog liked to dive off boats,

would I take him far out, wait
for the panting and tail wagging?
Would I indulge him and in so doing
indulge myself, for wouldn’t I want
someone to take me out to where the water
is sky-mesmerized and land is as hazy as a wayward
memory that tried to surface? Wouldn’t I want someone also
to anticipate my excitement and then to leap along
with me in spirit, feeling the rush of air when flying
and all that is in that split moment before splashing landward?
Wouldn’t I buy a life jacket, as I would want one too?
I’d make it red and chic so that if people spotted me
they would know I was suspended between blues, like
some red water-bird. It wouldn’t matter that my dog
logged more hours swimming than I. The lake is an endless
vision, a pool of soar and swimming, of kicking outward all
that holds the body locked within the boundaries of gravity.


Donna J. Gelagotis Lee’s book On the Altar of Greece, winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award, received a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award: Notable for Art Category and was nominated for a number of awards. Her poetry has appeared in journals internationally, including The Bitter Oleander, The Cortland Review, Feminist Studies, The Massachusetts Review, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. Her website is http://www.donnajgelagotislee.com.