Considering Loss


Considering Loss


 I’m watching two dogs for a friend while she attends

 her eldest daughter’s wedding. Hugo, the old brindle, 

waits in his bed like a sick two-year-old in the well room.

Babysitting as birth control is only 99% effective I think

 as I watch a frog climb the outside window as slowly

 as a sleeping whimper. Hugo has been refusing to eat.

 What under the sun is as sad as a sick dog who won’t eat?

 What downcast eyes and tucked tails will the world produce

 to remind me that the baby wasn’t mine? What fresh sorrow

 will limp down the stairs to stare at a bowl of mashed chicken

 only to turn away and lay on the floor? And when Sadie, the puppy,

 wants to play, what lonesome nip, what dutiful paw, what tender

woof will fill the living room as brief as a flash of lightning?

There are moments when I consider what I lost, and it feels like

 the entrance to heaven is closing. There are moments I think

 this loneliness will last the rest of my life. There are moments

 when I refuse to eat. When my friends must force me to play.


 Jeffrey Paggi


Jeffrey Paggi is a 40-year-old High School English teacher who lives alone in Highland, New York (although sometimes his 21-year-old son comes to visit him). His work has previously appeared in The Chronogram, Arc of a Cry, and The Cartographer Electric. In the late 2000s, he ran a poetry reading series at The Belmar in Binghamton, New York. He plays guitar in the post-punk band Cold Heaven and is currently working on a manuscript of poetry called Riverwalker


  1. the best verse is relatable and haunting. fine work.

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