A Dog Is Not a Baby. Or It Is.

Marjorie Maddox


Just yesterday, outside our house,
a woman pushed a terrier in a baby carriage.

Just yesterday, a woman pushed out a baby
in our house. Her terrier is jealous.

I am jealous of your carriage, your baby, your terrier,
your house, your yesterdays, and push you out.

A poem is not an essay. Or it is,
waiting to be pushed outside this house of lines.

Come to me, little poem, little terrier.
Inside the house is a warm carriage.

Inside a carriage is a house of yesterdays
pushing you into an essay on babies.

My sister is there with her terrier
waiting outside our house for a child.

Ride the carriage of yesterday with your terrier
into my house of now.

“Just yesterday” is everyday. Waiting.
A dog is not a baby.


Marjorie Maddox is a Sage Graduate Fellow of Cornell University (MFA) and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University. She has published eleven collections of poetry, the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite Press), and over 500 stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. Co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (Penn State Press), she has also published four children’s books. For more information, please see www.marjoriemaddox.com