I know what a house is.
It’s warmth and safety and food.
This house smelled kind.
I’d been lost so long
I couldn’t remember anything else
And hungry so long my legs shook.
Somewhere I cut my paw
And there was blood on every footprint.
I don’t remember how I climbed
Onto their porch, but I did.
I laid down and decided
I wasn’t leaving, even if I died.
I couldn’t go any farther anyway.
When they found me
They made surprised noises.
She smelled gentle,
Him, I wasn’t sure.
She brought me a big bowl of food
And held my head up.
I ate it lying down.
She brought me another bowl
And I ate that too.
They made more surprised noises.
I was very tired.
He picked me up and carried me inside,
Now he smelled just fine.
When I woke up
There was a big, warm cover over me
And she was putting sharp smells
On my paw. It hurt a little.
Then she wrapped it in soft cloths.
I was still very tired
But I smelled something without a name
And sensed it all the way through—
I was home.
Andrew Hubbard was born and raised in a coastal Maine fishing village. He earned degrees in English and Creative Writing from Dartmouth College and Columbia University, respectively.
For most of his career he has worked as Director of Training for major financial institutions, creating and delivering Sales, Management, and Technical training for user groups of up to 4,000.
He has had four prose books published, and his fifth and sixth books, collections of poetry, were published in 2014 and 2016 by Interactive Press.
He is a casual student of cooking and wine, a former martial arts instructor and competitive weight lifter, a collector of edged weapons, and a licensed handgun instructor. He lives in rural Indiana with his family, two Siberian Huskies, and a demon cat.