Spring 2018

Two drawings of dogs


by Carl Nelson

Curled Up, Bailey Brissett

Our Old Dog (Curled in Some New Position)

His ears daydream.
And he barks at poltergeists
who shuffle upstairs.

When he dies, my son
wants another just like him.
That’s a pretty good testament,
I’d say.

The cat will miss our dog,
but like a wife
will go on living
marking off the years, alone.

He’s ninety-one.
When we lie touching,
even a nearby scraping has a difficult time
uprooting his calm.
Touch doesn’t grow old.
Touch doesn’t age, apparently.

He ignores the table talk,
the TV chatter.
He snoozes better than ever now
curled in some spiritual position
newborn as a nest of hairless mice.


Carl Nelson lives with his wife, son and ginger dachshund named Tater Tot in the small  town of Belpre, Ohio. He runs the Serenity Poetry Series across the Ohio river in Vienna, West Virginia.  And he is currently putting the finishing touches on his Self-Help Book, The Poet’s Weight Loss Plan.