Another by Marie Howe

At my piano lesson early this week, my teacher’s dog saw her dog friend and the dog’s owner pass by the window.  She often walks with them, but not that day.  It was hard for her to understand why they were going without her, and she pranced around unhappily, left behind. It made me think of this poem, from What the Living Do, by Marie Howe. The book deals (for the most part) with poems about her brother’s death.  What I love about this one is it’s oblique approach to mourning.


Andy sees us to the door, and Buddy is suddenly all over him, leaping
and barking because Andy said: walk. Are you going to walk home? he said.

To me. And Buddy thinks him and now, and he’s wrong. He doesn’t
understand the difference between sign and symbol like we do–the thing

and the word for the thing, how we can talk about something when it’s not
even there, without it actually happening–the way I talk about John. Continue reading “Another by Marie Howe”