Puppy Talk by Liam Day

She doesn’t like it when I look at her,
can’t sleep when pillow-propped next to her I stare;
her eyes pop open from the deepest sleep.

She won’t read with me at her shoulder or e-mail
when I’m behind her on the rutted rug we lay
to stop the chair from rolling the uneven floor.

She won’t lend me the books
in which she’s written in the margins
or repeat what she mutters to herself at hearing’s edge.

She won’t let me in the bedroom when she dresses,
in the kitchen when she cooks,
in the bathroom when she brushes her teeth.

And she absolutely cannot stand it when I tell her,
I know, I know, I know. Imagine it, though,
in a voice you’d use to talk to your dog or another couple’s baby.

She hates that voice, tells me when I use it that
that’s all I know, but I can tell by the smile curling
the corners of her mouth, she knows I know more,

that despite her efforts I’ve wriggled my way in.



Liam Day is a graduate of the Bread Loaf School of English. He lives in Boston with his wife, Nicole. His work has appeared previously in Beginnings and Slow Trains.