“Dog in a Car,” from A Star by Day, by David McCord (1950)

October 1st, 2013

dogincar

Dog in a Car

He grins a little as they drive him by.
Of what his nose needs there’s a fresh supply
Round every corner, up the rainy field:
He has no daily walk of equal yield.
His head hangs out, his tongue out farther still;
His bark is bolder from that window sill.
His nose is longer on the modern breeze—-
His father being Scotch, not Pekingese.

A lesser breed on leash or running loose
Would find his comradeship of little use;
A dog transported by the family Ford
Rides far beyond the days he loved or warred.
His ancestors on purely urban smells
Leaned hard enough, but they had nothing else.
They hadn’t won to his synthetic taste:
Investigation kept them out of haste.

You drive a dog from State to other State:
His senses meet with scents he can’t relate.
He hasn’t time. His little nostrils twitch.
Was that a rabbit, mole, or brindle bitch?
His eye grows bright. He reaches out in space.
The local brothers hardly see his face.
He’s whirling through a night of strange impact:
Of atavistic cats he once attacked.

from A Star by Day, by David McCord
Garden City, NJ: Doubleday & Company, 1950
Available on the Internet Archive: Link

This is one in a series of neglected poems taken from the Internet Archive.

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