The Sentient Creature Feature
{A Bumbershoot Special Feature}

Jim Gramann

is a professor at Texas A&M University, where he has taught courses on protected-area management and related topics. 

He also works full-time with an agency of the federal government and maintains an office in Washington, D.C. Because he commutes between Texas and the east coast, his poetry often reflects the disparate cultural and environmental contexts of the rural southwest and the metropolitan east.

He writes in both verseform and disciplined free verse. His poetry has appeared in Sonnetto Poesia, Fugue, Red River Review, Time for Rhyme, and RE:AL, the Journal of the Liberal Arts.

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A Poodle Ain’t No Dog

I’ve learned from folks in Texas you don’t call
a poodle hound or even dog. No, not
a poodle. “Dog? That ain’t no dog at all!”

A real hound would just as soon maul
you as obey you. That’s the truth. It’s what
I’ve learned from folks in Texasyou don’t call

the Texans liars. A poodle’s more a doll
than dog, with ribbons in its hair. “Your mutt’s
a poodle dog? That ain’t no dog at all!”

Down here folks laugh at anything that’s small,
especially dogs with fur that’s sissy-cut.
I’ve learned from folks in Texas you don’t call

such things a dog unless your tale’s tall
as wranglers in the saddle. So what about
my poodle? Doggone, she ain’t no dog in all

those lonesome times when like a child she’ll crawl
into my lap. Guess I’m square with what
I’ve learned from folks in Texas. You don’t call
my poodle dog. She ain’t no dog at all.