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Dog in Bed

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Nose tucked under tail,
you are a warm, furred planet
centered in my bed.
All night I orbit, tangle-limbed,
in the slim space
allotted to me.

If I accidentally
bump you from sleep,
you shift, groan,
drape your chin on my hip.

O, that languid, movie-star drape!
I can never resist it.
Digging my fingers into your fur,
kneading,
      I wonder:
How do you dream?
What do you adore?
Why should your black silk ears
feel like happiness?

This is how it is with love.
Once invited,
it steps in gently,
circles twice,
and takes up as much space
as you will give it.

Poem copyright ©2003 by Joyce Sidman, whose most recent book of poems is Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011. Poem reprinted from The World According to Dog, Houghton Mifflin, 2003, by permission of Joyce Sidman and the publisher.
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Dog in Bed

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  • Born and raised in Connecticut, children’s poet Joyce Sidman earned a BA in German at Wesleyan University. The products of extensive research, Sidman’s inventive, accessible poems for children are frequently set in the natural world, composed in the voices (and sometimes shapes) of animals and historical figures.

    Sidman has published numerous books of poetry for children, including Newbery Medal–nominated Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night (2010, illustrated by Rick Allen); Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors (2010, illustrated by Beckie Prange), which was named a Best Book of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly and the Washington Post and a Best Children’s book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews; Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s Lee Bennett Hopkins Award–winner Song of the Water Boatman & Other Pond Poems (2005), for which illustrator Beckie Prange was awarded a Caldecott Honor; and

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