Richard Baldwin Cook


“There’s a spot of blood on the floor,” she said. “It’s from one of the dogs.”

“There’s also a spot of blood in the dog’s bed,” she said.

Flashing on an expensive trip to the vet, on the four dog graves we already have in our woods, gathered in by the earth . . . “I’ll take care of it,” I said.

“These are among the many graves I have made invisible,” the earth said.

This particular dog is visible still, but there is the matter of that blood, which “I will take care of,” as I said.

I will report to her, over the phone: “The blood’s what’s left of a bloated tick, which the dog cast off.”

This report to her will feel like a victory, even though the tick, “bloated,” like I said, just fell of its fill, it said.

Like the victory I felt, after she drove away, and I picked up the broom to sweep the leaves out of the garage, and discovered the broom was “holding you up, a little bit,” the broom said.



Richard Baldwin Cook lives in Baltimore County and has published two volumes of poetry, “Splendid Lives and Otherwise – Sonnets of Remembrance” (2011) and “My Father Was Taken to a Lynching” (2014) and two volumes of family history, ALL OF THE ABOVE, I and II, which have been well received by the Kentucky Historical Society and elsewhere. Richard has placed a number of poems and essays in the Syndic Literary Journal