I Had a Cheerful and Gentle Dog
I had a cheerful and gentle dog.
At night, she rubbed her snout on my hand
as it lay wrapped over the arm of the sofa.
I caressed her a little, and, on my stopping,
her wet nose nudged my fingers. I would speak to her,
and she would answer me with her eyes. “Do you want to go out?”
All that was needed was this phrase to cause a sudden shiver
to shake her,
electrify her and shoot her toward the door.
I don’t know why you came into my mind. Perhaps
because a short while back I read a lovely poem by Krüger
where he talks of a dog, dumbfounded and dismayed.
Perhaps because tonight, like you,
I wait to hear a voice that says “Do you want to go out?”
and that accompanies me to the door.
(Translation into English by Emanuel di Pasquale, from the book by Luigi Fontanella Land of Time. Selected Poems 1972-2003, edited by Irene Marchegiani, Introduction by Dante Della Terza, New York: Chelsea Editions, 2006.)