• Vanna, 1987?–1995
  • Dogs love us uncomplainingly because
  • They see us in a way we never do.
  • They don’t have sense enough to see our flaws
  • The way we fear our lovers’ fangs and claws.
  • Blondi loved Hitler; Checkers, Nixon too.
  • They love us uncomplainingly because
  • When swatted with the news for muddy paws
  • Or chewing on that Bruno Magli shoe
  • They don’t have sense enough to see our flaws.
  • We live by common sense and logic’s laws;
  • With dogs, forget it. Even if they knew
  • They love us uncomplainingly because
  • They’re idiots, they still won’t drop their jaws
  • And say, “Duh, you were mean to me. We’re through.”
  • They don’t have sense enough to see our flaws.
  • Thank god for that. A big round of applause
  • For what can sniff your ass and still love you.
  • Dogs love us uncomplainingly because
  • They don’t have sense enough to see our flaws.

R.S. Gwynn is a master of traditional poetic forms whose poetry has been characterized as “Bleakly serious and wickedly humorous.” The poet X. J. Kennedy has called Gwynn “A wonderful satirist, a master translator, a keen observer of ironies.” Gwynn is a professor at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. His new collection, Dogwatch, was published earlier this year by Measure Press. “Why They Love Us” is a villanelle from his collection No Word of Farewell: Selected Poems 1970–2000, published by Story Line Press. The poem is reprinted by permission.

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