Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review


Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review


Article excerpt

The phone call, from my wife.

"She's hungry, she's pregnant,

someone kicked her in the stomach -

we have to." I said yes,

but the reply I kept to myself was

we don't have to do a goddamn thing.

A dog. I'm talking about a dog

I would have otherwise left

to starve. Now, though, five years

after the fact, I love this animal

more than I can most people.

Except, none of this matters.

It's context to something else,

a boy, six years old, who twice

each day fed a dog and five cats,

every single one he named

after ours, the rescue, Lucy.

The boy, my brother, born

in Henry Ford's hometown,

but who lives now in Bint Jbeil,

which the Greeks called Byblos,

and they tried but failed

to subdue it, same as the Egyptians,

Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians,

Alexander the Great, Romans,

Arabs, Crusaders, Turks,

the Brits, the French, the Israelis.

There, my father built a house

with money earned in Detroit -

as a grocer, with social security.

Also there, the first alphabet

was created, the first law school

built, the first miracle of Jesus -

water, wine.

On the first day the bombs fall,

they flee, and the boy asks

to go back for Lucy, the dog.

As for the cats, "No.

They take care of themselves."

One week into it, he wonders,

who feeds them, who fills the water bowls.

Maybe the neighbors,

the mother thinks out loud. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.