The flea must have leapt
from Rainbow to Ryder’s back,
but we who own both dogs don’t know for sure.
What we do know is that if the flea did indeed leap from dog-to-dog,
it was a huge jump, and for this the flea should be commended.
You know, not all fleas that leap make it to their destination.
Some fall to the floor and are ground into the linoleum
with the tip of a shoe. And others are picked up and squished
Between thumb and forefinger. Others are caught in midair
and trapped between open palm and closed fist.
(Open palm and closed fist – these are the opposing gestures of love and hate.)
No matter—the flea landed on the dog, and laid eggs that hatched,
forming a tightly knit community,
which is one that was most functional in warm weather,
and most dysfunctional in cold weather.
The question that then surfaced was, how, does one rid a dog of fleas?