Wednesday, 07 December 2022

American Life in Poetry: The Love Ridge Loop

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

The title of the poem, “The Love Ridge Loop,” is, no doubt, something of a joke, an exaggeration built on irony. After all, the poem is an ironic love poem, and, at the same time, an anti-dog poem.

But it allows for something else, a poem about the unreliability of affection, of how, in love, we dare not admit to the animal danger in those we love or, at least, own in love.

Abbie Kiefer’s poem resonates nicely for those of us who view with deep skepticism the expressed assurances of our safety by pet-owners, while we walk among unleashed dogs in our neighborhoods.

The Love Ridge Loop
By Abbie Kiefer

In disregard of the signs,
no one bothers
with leashes,
dogs barreling unbounded
over every grooved path.
He’s friendly they yell,
50 yards back. Don’t worry,
he’s darling, a cuddlepie
of a pup. I’m never
not wary. Show me any person
who could call their dearest
unworthy. Who would warn me
Walk wide. He’s teeth and more
teeth. This creature I love
beyond my control.


American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2021 by Abbie Kiefer, “The Love Ridge Loop” from Nashville Review, August 1, 2021. Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2022 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

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8Dec
12.08.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
8Dec
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Bucket Brigade Blood Drive Challenge
8Dec
12.08.2022 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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Clearlake City Council special meeting
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Hometown Christmas in Lower Lake
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Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
10Dec
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Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
10Dec
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Clear Lake State Park Christmas open house

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