Linda Pastan

Dog in the Manger
January 25, 2018 Pastan Linda

Dog in the Manger


As if you’d keep your bones from other dogs
when you were done with them. What nonsense!

In any case, why manger? That Christmas child slept
in the barn with sheep and cows, not dogs.

And doggerel? your bark
is so expressive

I think you’d choose a sonnet
with beef in it,  if you could write.

Dog fight, I understand, dog tired too–
you frequent the couch even wide awake.

But raining cats and dogs?
And going to the dogs– where would that be?

Why do I care? Language is where I live.
Besides, I have a dog in this fight.




Linda Pastan was Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991-1995.  In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement. Her book, Insomnia,  came out in 2015 and A Dog Runs Through It in 2018. Almost An Elegy: New and Later Selected Poems, will be published in 2022.