Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Circumstances Alter

A poem-story about some unexpected visitors when we were watching the grandkids (three year old 'Frog' and 1 year old 'Bird') -

In retrospect, Frog’s words 

were a foreshadowing, when she

declared Deuce is coming over,

causing me to whip my head up

from the sandbox in surprise

only to see she simply meant 

the dog was running alongside the fence

keeping parallel with us while

still safely ensconced in his yard

like always

ah, not.

Right that very moment, 

that big ol’ lumbering dog

found a hole in the fence 

from where a previous storm

had sent sailing a big ol’ branch

and busted off the picket

unbeknownst to us,



open season,

the neighbors' dogs can

jump through the fence

and join us in the sandbox!

ah, not.

Frog screamed in terror and

I surely wanted NOT to be

the adult in charge. 

Deuce is a very big dog.

To date, our entire relationship

has been across the fence

from one another.

All at once, here he was,

running to us, barking excitedly

I scooped up Frog, holding

her close, hurrying away, and

speaking soothingly to Frog,

saying he's a nice dog (I prayed)

Deuce paused for a moment

in the sandbox and then

ran to keep up with us.

ah, no.

I hurried towards 

the house carrying Frog,

while Deuce was

rushing along right at my heels

There was Tony holding Bird up high,

running from the the other side

of the yard, just as surprised

as I by our canine visitor, and

trying his best to wave

Deuce back through the fence,

to leave the way he came.

ah not.

I quickly opened the back door

and basically dropped Frog

into the family room for

safety, pivoting back to Tony, and

taking Bird from him, only

to hear Frog cry out 

from inside Oh no Nana, 

I have a shovel full of sand!

ah not.

That’s when Frog first lived

Mimi Ingram’s wisdom

Circumstances alter cases -

who cares about a pile of sand 

on the rug if no one has been 

bitten by a big ol’ dog? 


I am ‘big dog’ phobic,

but I wasn’t feeling so afraid

of Deuce; after all these months

of being alongside him in our 

backyards, I knew him to be 

old and slow and calm;

I was feeling scared of his buddy Ace,

however; oh my, different story; 

he barks so loudly, and

the owners take him for walks

with a thick chain to rein him in.

ah, no. 

Yes, as I hurried to get the 

girls inside the house, it was Ace

that was sending shivers

up my spine. In the tumult,

my eyes searched for

this second dog - was he

going to follow Deuce through

the opening in the fence?

ah, no, please, no.

I heard Ace barking loudly, and

then I saw - Ace was sporting

a cone around his head!

Which was bad for him 

and great for us at this

particular moment -  Ace

couldn’t quite fit, 

couldn’t wedge himself

through the opening.

ah, thank goodness.

Hearing all the commotion,

their owner was out back, too,

making apologies for Deuce

slipping into our yard

and praising his sweetness, 

his good nature - Deuce loves 

children and simply wanted 

to be friends. She and Tony chatted 

while he repaired the fence 

with a spare picket from our garage;

the girls and I watched in

safe fascination from the 

family room window.

ah, yes!

Frog wanted to know, 

why did Deuce want 

to be our friend? My answer

was a bit of mind-reading,

I suppose he likes seeing

us play and decided to get 

right with us. 

I must say, 

from my perspective,

Deuce is a better 


than friend.

Just sayin’


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for creating this supportive community 
of teacher-writers!


  1. Ah, yes. What a cute narrative poem! Excellent word choice. For example; ensconced, busted, and unbeknownst

  2. Oops! The above comment was not supposed to be anonymous.

  3. A fun read! Action-packed, but inner thoughts instantly revealed.
    Diane Anderson, newtreemom

  4. Oh, I love the chaos you paint in this poem! I laughed out loud at the line about the shovel full of sand. The refrain of "ah, no" is just perfect in between the stanzas. So much fun to read!

  5. Such suspense! I love your interjections throughout. Thank goodness Ace had the cone and all is well. 'Good fences make good neighbors' especially when there are dogs of questionable nature...I feel sure poor ol' Deuce was just trying to play - and your Mimi Ingram is a sage, indeed.