Donna J. Gelagotis Lee

Feeble dogs are licking my name

in the dirt. They are taking on

personas. I feel a bark rising

in my throat. I sense a pack / pact


mentality. I want to stalk and

circle, cower, and whimper. I want

to chase and pull with my teeth.

I want to lick myself, smell my own


cleanliness, smell others and tell of their

intentions. If I come up to you and nip,

will you kick / kiss me? Will you yell /

yelp? I feel my hairs matted down, my


tail / tale starting to wag. I don’t lag /

lack ambition, yet I’m like the stray dog

wandering the yard. People see me.

And some leave out scraps. I’m hungry,


so I feed. And then someone comes out

and wants to pet me. And I see the pack /

pact in the distance. I see the writing

in the dirt as I put my nose to the ground.

About the Author

Donna J. Gelagotis Lee is the author of Intersection on Neptune (The Poetry Press of Press Americana, 2019), winner of Prize Americana, and On the Altar of Greece (Gival Press, 2006), winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award and recipient of a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award: Notable for Art Category. Her poetry has appeared in journals internationally, includingThe Bitter Oleander, The Cortland Review, Feminist Studies, The Massachusetts Review, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. Website: