The dog Blue knows the sound of water as rejection: this one bowl will not be his for the licking, the liking of batter or dough, or some other sticking to roof-of-mouth treat. Mean— that woman who arbitrates when to bestow, when to withhold. Blue the dog doesn’t know chocolate apart from the smell and why not? She who trusts him with other scraps, butter eggs sugar flour turns the tap on this one. The bowl fills and the pleasure that might have been washes right down the drain with its untasted scent like rain in a garden round a tree full of snake.
(provided for the January 2023 Arc Award of Awesomeness)
Chantel Lavoie has published three books of poetry: Where the Terror Lies (Quattro, 2012), Serve the Sorrowing World with Joy (with Meg Freer, 2021), and This is About Angels, Women, and Men (Mansfield 2022). Originally from Saskatchewan, she teaches in the Department of English, Culture, and Communication at the Royal Military of College in Kingston.