I’ve always had pets, but the guys I’m rooming with in college aren’t animal lovers and don’t want one in the apartment. I want a dog, but even a less traditional animal, such as a turtle or even a fish, would be OK with me. Can a poem help out in this situation? — Mike C.


Most certainly. I’m thinking not only of a poem but of a whole book of poems, The Truro Bear by Mary Oliver. It’s a wonderful book of poems with animals as subjects, everything from possums to dogs to turtles.


Now I see it— it nudges with its bulldog head the slippery stems of the lilies, making them tremble; and now it noses along in the wake of the little brown teal

who is leading her soft children from one side of… More…