Gertrude Stein’s Poodle

She. They.
They call.
They call and call.
They call me Basket.
Come, Basket.
Good Basket
Darling, cher, sweet Basket.
Ce qui est la Panier? We play.
But I am. I am more. I am tricky.
I am more than a container of tricks,

I know a complex lexicon but will not let on.
She walks. Walk, walk walk. For a while they talk.
They dangle it before me. Leash. She’ll walk. She’ll walk me. Unfree.
They both walk. They walk together.
They, together walking. Walking, together, with me, mostly without me.
We traverse the voisinage, where every smell in Paris congregates for an afternoon.

She spilled paint, or left paint out. She spilled the cobalt blue and left. She left and I felt
she went off to answer the door.
I love cobalt blue. It smells like Chagall. All is blue.
Blue should be metal. I deserve a medal. I am that kind of painter, patriotic.
Portraiture is a lost art. Painting is art. Painting is lost. Art is lost.
I’ll save it. An art ark. An ark. A narc. Namecaller. I bark.

I pull the tassel of the curtain.
I pull the curtain down.
I take a curtain call. I am famous.
I’m invited to her knee, asked for.
Asked for the little.
Little asked, little given. Only questions.
Who is good. Who is the good. Who is the best.
Asked why. Asked where. Asked for
my little chew toy. I bring her the blue chew toy.
I have painted it bluer. It is better. Droll.

Scolded, I find slippers. Slippers, they slip and I slip to them to think.
Consider. Consider this. Consider slippery knowing. Secret knowing.
She cannot know about the slippers.
Hide. Gnaw.

This poem can be found in our Winter 2014 issue.

Sarah Ann Winn lives in Fairfax, Virginia. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Midnight Circus, Nassau Review, and Two Thirds North, among others. Follow her Twitter @blueaisling, or visit