The dog’s pregnant again. The stray

beauty who sleeps on the porch: gray

concrete cool against her flamed cheek.

So swollen, she whines to me. Seeks

help extracting a thorn: the play


gone from her eyes, her paw arrayed

lifeless for a moment. I’ve prayed

for a child. Outlook may be bleak.

The dog’s pregnant.


What does she wish for, a display

of sympathy for her pain? May-

be she senses mine, wants to speak

a kindred call: damaged, sweet, weak

cry. Desperate. My heart gives way.

The dog’s pregnant.




Michelle McMillan-Holifield studied poetry at Delta State University in the Mississippi Delta. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas/Monticello. Her work has been included in or is forthcoming in Boxcar Poetry Review, Deep South Magazine, Halfway Down the Stairs, The Found Poetry Review, poemmemoirstory, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and Windhover, among others.