Donna Dunlop


(listen to the poem, read by Diane R. Wiener)

(For Watson)

The fingers of my right hand
curl when I walk and won’t let go
of your invisible leash
even though
you no longer pull me along
stubbornly insisting at times
which route we should take.
Now I can walk wherever I want
and when I return to our familiar paths
that reliable tug is gone
into the day or night
and I look everywhere for you.

I look for you
in other dogs too
who seem aware
of the connection
between us and them
while their guardians
hurry them along
when they prefer to linger
or look back
at this solitary woman
carrying her heart on her sleeve
on the other side of the street.

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About the Author

Donna Dunlop is a well published poet. Her last book (Contact Press Toronto, December 2019) was DEAR RAY: A Love Poem for Raymond Souster. It received positive “blurb” comments from Fraser Sutherland (now late), Dennis Lee, and John Robert Colombo. It also received a starred Kirkus Review and was named by Kirkus as one of the best books of 2020. She is also a novelist and a singer-songwriter in the balladeer tradition. Her last album, entitled Backlight, was released in June 2020. A very recent in-depth career spanning interview (with music and conversation) was done by Jan Hall, host of the syndicated radio program “Folk Roots Radio.” The conversation touched on poetry. It can be heard on the “Folk Roots Radio” website. Donna’s website,, acts as a writing and musical archive for her work.