Lucky at the Vet

a poem by
MARY TORREGROSSA | Educator + Poet

I am a story-listener. It comes as part of my job as an Adult School ESL teacher in the Los Angeles area. I have to “listen twice”, as the Quakers say. So, in my subsequent story-telling, I have created a gallery of portrait poems. “Lucky At The Vet” was inspired by a young girl saying to me in the waiting room of our local pet clinic, “Look at Lucky’s tail wag each time I say her name.” I thought “ah!” a poem! This piece has three portrait in one poem. Whom do you see first? Do you see yourself? Do you see me?

Photo by Hugues de Buyer-Mimeure

THIS is my dog Lucky, she says.

Lucky like to chase birds, she says.
Look at Lucky’s tail wag
each time I say her name.

Lucky sits on Granny’s lap sometimes
but when I’m there she likes to play.

She can’t play today, she says.
Lucky’s leg got hurt, she says.
It wobbles when she walks.

Lucky’s hair is silky smooth.
She needs a bath, she says,
sometimes Lucky runs away.

Lucky ran outside yesterday.
She got crashed with a car.
It was a blue car, she says.

What color is your car? she says.



Educator + Poet

Mary Torregrossa’s poems appear in Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, in Wide Awake:Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, and Voices from Leimert Park Redux, Poets of the World Stage in Los Angeles. Her chapbook, My Zócalo Heart, a collection of portrait and persona poems, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.