They Had Had It In Mind

By CAROLINE KNOX

 

They had had it in mind to adopt a retired whippet,

which would have been easy for a retired ballet

dancer, if she had been one, and easy on the wallet

for him, an actuary. But she was a pellet-

and-woodstove saleswoman. They looked at a basset.

They looked at a whippet with a two-tone palette,

pale gray and dark gray, in Ashuelot,

New Hampshire. The dog’s name was Linnet.

They had a tacit

agreement to go to spinet

concerts on Sundays. “Put on your bonnet.”

Moving through a thicket

of lilac and viburnum, claret

and crimson, with wild carrot,

tuffet after tuffet,

they got to the Grange in a minute.

That evening the spinet was accompanied by clarinet.

 

At supper he looked at his beloved and he looked at Linnet

(who had in fact come to live with them) asleep on her pallet.

“Beloved,” he said, “you have a fine palate,

and these delicate frites in the skillet

are the match for asparagus and fillet

of sole, together with the tart of russet

apples. You cosset

me. These words are my billet-

doux to you, with whom I am honored to share citizenship

in a nation where, in the

private sector, we observe the generosity of, say,

Warren Buffett,

while in the public sector our polity allows us to ferret

out a solution to the occasional Congressional impasse:

a tie-breaking ballot

by the nation’s Vice President, the President of the Senate.”

 

 

Caroline Knox’s eighth book, Flemish, appeared from Wave Books in April 2013.

[Click here to purchase your copy of Issue 07]

Julia PikeThey Had Had It In Mind

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