Sentient Creatures
{A Bumbershoot Special Feature}

Martin Elster

is the author of There’s a Dog in the Heavens! (A Universe of Canine Verse).

He is also a composer and serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the Connecticut Opera Orchestra.

Mr. Elster judged the 2004 and 2005 Annual Yankee Dog Haiku Contests (Bowser Publications). His poems appear regularly in Yankee Dog and Pennons of Pegasus (Meriden Record-Journal).

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I Know He’ll Be Back, But . . .

I lick the marrow out and gnaw the bone
My master gave me. I got pizza too.
But sometimes he goes out and I’m alone.

That’s when I chew his pillow or his new
Comforter apart, or his wool sweater.
My canine teeth are better than a shredder;
They pull to pieces nearly any item
That they can reach: today his navy-blue
Sweatpants he bought last night. Don’t misconstrue
My rationale. You fancy that I spite ’em
To trouble him. Why, no! That’s not my aim.

I make believe I’m chasing after prey
While ripping up his stuff—a hunting game.
It’s not my fault if they don’t run away.