Singing the Dogs to Sleep

by Steve Klepetar
Once I stepped from my car
crunching onto garage grit,
singing a whiskey baritone
and every dog in the neighborhood
howled as if in response to the
electric current of my voice, some
elemental force disturbing late spring air.
How my wife laughed, clinging to dangling
grocery bags, sheer mad hilarity of that answering.
How can you sing the dogs to sleep?
What trick of lyre strings and weaving
voice will make those fierce heads wag wearily
on thick muscled necks, those heavy
lidded eyes blink and close? Does it take
a voice of water or a music thick with scents –
basil and pine bark and wet grass fermenting
in afternoon sun? Or a texture of velvet
black, some catch in the throat, a wavering
sound, sad beyond hearing, a note for which
there can be no answer
in songs or laughter or tears.
Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared widely and has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His chapbook Thirty-six Crows was published in 2010 by erbacce-press.

© 2012, Steve Klepetar