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Rena Priest

Rena Priest

Rena's Web Site

Rena Priest is a writer, poet, and concerned citizen. She is a Lummi tribal member and was raised in a subterranean homesick matriarchy. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and is active in efforts to strengthen community through participation in local arts and culture.

See Rena's poem The Rental Dog on Verse Daily.

Patriarchy Blues

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Poem from Patriarchy Blues

The Rental Dog

The train came and the man
sat next to me, showed me
a photo of his daughter, told me
the story of his life. "Kicked out!"

he said, of the German air-force,
his marriage, his home. He
had just returned from New Mexico…
“I was out there living in a teepee,

trying to get clean of the New York guck.”
He paused,
“My rental dog was eaten by coyotes.
They lured him with a female in heat.

They’re cannibals you know.”
The dog's true owner was a hippie girl.
She took the news like business.
“It’s nature, stupid dog,” was all she said.

Later, I told his story to an optimist
named Nancy. She believes:
“The dog ran away with the coyotes.
Shrugged off his rental dog existence;

became a real dog, baying at the moon.”
But looking at this man, I remembered
hearing that a pet takes on
the characteristics of its companion,

and Nancy's theory seems implausible,
for this man has in his eyes the look
of a rental dog, unloved, and therefore,
easily lured and devoured

Cover art by Sarah Katharina Kayss

Patriarchy Blues

Patriarchy Blues