PoetryIssue 16 | October 2012

Dog Years

by Katharine Coles

When I’m home, she follows me floor to floor
Without complaint, lugging fifteen year-old bones,
Settling once she knows again where we are.
Now I’m gone, she lies by the front door

Watching through the glass for my car.
I have never seen this—but I know when
I open the door at last, she’ll be there. 
My husband recounts by satellite phone the hours

She lay there today, rising only to make sure
I hadn’t sneaked back in while she was asleep
Or to watch him fill her bowl, then not eat.
Every minute you’re gone feels like forever,

He says, his voice travelling all the way
To space and back before it reaches me.

About the author

Katharine Coles has returned home from Shanghai just long enough to pay bills, do laundry, and repack. Her fifth collection,The Earth Is Not Flat (Red Hen 2013), was written under the auspices of the NSF’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. In 2009-10, she served as the Inaugural Director of the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute. She is a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow for 2012-13.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok