On Thanksgiving I Press Turkey Patties Into My George Foreman Grill

as the TV emcee says
rough-coated Collies
keep heat close
like down coats.

Big George retired
from the ring to raise
Rough Collies
for dog shows,
his feet fluttering
beside his sable stud
(also named George)
the thin black lead
rope-a-doping against
its blue carpet backdrop.
Did you know George

wears a quilted
parka on August afternoons
walking sable George,
tricolor George,
blue merle Georgetta
to feel the heat his namesakes
feel? Big George knows
Collies are so sensitive
you can’t yell, so it’s his
soft stern minister’s voice
that says sit, stay, speak, play
dead. I wonder how he watches

as his Collies all age and ail,
imagine his broad fingers
moving tenderly through
double-coated tufts
as he holds each dog
still in his arms
on a stainless-steel surface.

I always return to this man. Alone
in repeated ritual, I remember
my hunger, and how I’m expected
to rise again. This man—body-blown
with grief—watching as what he loves
is called home.

Peter H. Michaels’s poetry is forthcoming from or has appeared in Nimrod, The Operating System, Cagibi, and other places. His poetry book reviews have been published by PANK magazine’s blog and Sugar House Review. His website is peterhmichaels.com.

Appears In

Issue 9

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