taylor mali | falling in love is like owning a dog

7 05 2008

Poetry Dispatch No. 232 | May 7, 2008

Light Verse–for a Potentially Heavy Creature

We don’t celebrate ‘light verse’ enough in this country, too often, too pleased to be plodding in the dark domains of ponderous poetics.

I aim to look on the lighter side of the line occasionally, beginning with today’s dispatch …a poem I would like to dedicate to my newly married son, Christopher (aka Christo) and my beautiful daughter-in-law, Antonia (aka Nia) in celebration of the recent addition to the family–my new Granddog, “Caesar,” a Giant Black Schnauzer. A mere rambunctious pup, at the moment…though not for long.

(aka Father Blei/Norbert Blei)

Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time?
No! No! Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

from A FAMILY OF POEMS (My Favorite Poetry for Children) by Caroline Kennedy, paintings by Jon J. Muth, Hyperion Books, 2005, 144 pages, hardback, $19.95

Editor’s Note: I can’t recommend this book enough. A gift for all seasons, many occasions, children and adults, a book to be kept close at hand, coffee table-visible in all living rooms. A joy to read, to look at, to read aloud, to share with children and adults. Everyone’s here—from Ogden Nash to Robert Frost, Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, Lewis Carroll, Lorca, Emily Dickinson, Rilke, Roethke, etc…the whole poetry gang vying for your attention.

“If our parents read to us as children, we remember the closeness of the moments together, the sound and power of voice and expression, the sense of wonder than a poem inspires”Caroline Kennedy



2 responses

2 03 2009
Jana Brooke

Very good.
But, Falling In Love Is Like Owning a Dog is by Taylor Mali, not Mills.


13 04 2011

This Poem is absolutly beautiful!
It brought tears to my eyes as i read every line because they were nothing but the truth…the truth about the love I have more so for my dog than love itself.
thank you for this piece.

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