(The adorable boy you see here in my dog, Mr. Bates.  He is named after my favorite character from the BBC television show Downton Abbey.)


My dog will not forgive me

Though I asked him many times

With treats in my hands

Bacon in my pockets

I have pleaded,


And he

Sits silently,




“What must I do?”

I have pined

Looking for the clue

Some kind of cue

To begin my

Apology anew—

It does not come

Only a wag and

Stoic stares.



“Is this a staring contest?”

I have wondered

But I have yet

To speak the words—

I am afraid he

Will think me silly

Because contests

Are mostly born of

Human insecurity.



My dog will not forgive me

Though his water bowl is full

His leash is hot

With newly acquired sunshine

Gathered on the walk

We recently took,

An offering

My bribe to him,

“Please, let me off the hook.”



I now remind him of my faults

Repent and seek my peace

He sighs like a priest

Resting his chin on his hands

And wondering when

My tirade will find its end—

He sniffs

Licks the air

Then sighs into the floor.



“I guess I am a bore,”

I think

My shoulders fully slumped

I sink to sit before him, then

He jumps to his feet

Wiggles and leaps

Like a dancer with four left feet

“Finally,” he barks

Then rolls into my lap.



“But what about the times

I ignored you

forgot to adore you

when I stayed away too long

and scolded you for being wrong,

what about

my impatience,

when I chose not to be




He licks my hand

And lifts his paw,

“You humans don’t get it at all.”

Continuing, he reflects,

“We forgive right away

we never delay

because we remember

the value of living

and loving today.”



I feel quite embarrassed

I know he is right

I wasted time worrying

Mentally scurrying

Back to the past

Where all my faults sit

Like piles of vomit

I was willing to lick—

“You’re doing it again,” he winks,

“Just relax.”


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson