Friday, 12 February 2021

Six Feet  

by Dotty LeMieux

The length of my dog’s leash. Meeting another,
            twelve feet between wary humans,
            dogs sniff nose to nose. 
How tall my father was, or so he said, but
            you couldn’t always trust
            everything he said.
                                 Ask mom.
The width of a cell in San Quentin Prison, 
            not counting men stacked in bunks
            stale air, no phone call.          
                                  No defense.
The distance between two not-yet-lovers, masked
            strangers, no touch but eyes
            no hands, no mouths.
                                  Alone together.
The depth of the average grave, except in genocides,
            war, and pandemics like this one
            when you have to share.
                                   Don’t die.
The width of my queen size mattress, enough 
            for two, most nights. Sometimes
            I want it all for myself.
                                   Tonight you stay.
* * * * *

Dotty LeMieux’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Rise Up Review, Poets Reading the News, Gyroscope, MacQueen’s Quinterly, anthologies such as the Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Moonshadow Sanctuary Press’s Enskyment,  and others. She has had four chapbooks published, the latest just out from Finishing Line Press, entitled Henceforth I Ask Not Good Fortune. In the 1980’s, she edited the literary magazine Turkey Buzzard Review, in Bolinas California.

Her day jobs are running political campaigns, mainly for progressive women, and practicing environmental law in Marin County California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.