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Dog Days of August

— Celebrate the Dog Days of August in poems and pictures. Alexandria's poet laureate, Amy Young, invites the residents of Alexandria to visit their local dog parks from Aug. 18-26 to view poems written and submitted by Alexandria residents in honor of the dogs in their lives. The 2nd Annual Dog Days of August is sponsored by the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.

Dog Days of August is one of two city-wide poetry and art projects to originate with the poet laureate. Following on the heels of the Dog Days of August, the poet laureate is asking residents to write poems and send in photographs and pictures of the street they live on. MAPP (Mapping Alexandria in Poems and Pictures) will eventually be an interactive website where residents and visitors can click on a street and see the art and poetry associated with it. The goal will be to have every street in Alexandria represented and to have snapshots of the city over time. Anyone interested in helping implement this site can contact Young through poet@alexandriava.gov. Poems and artwork may be submitted to poet@alexandriava.gov as well.

Here is a sampling of this year's poems:

Leia's Gift

I remember

Years ago

Our evening walk

A neighbor child crying

Hurt more from the

The unridden two wheeler than

The scraped knee

His father

A good man but unsure

I offer your leash

Something large strong

Tame in a small hand

A moment

Crisis passed

The father to me

You came just in time

But the gift was yours

— Tom Nardone

‘Why Don’t I Come, Too?’

You’re going to the mailbox

To drop some letters there.

It won’t take long

It’s no big deal.

Hey, I know – I’ll come, too!

You’re filling up the feeders

For birds in our back yard.

You don’t need help.

It isn’t hard,

But why don’t I come, too?

You’re driving “home” for Christmas

You dread this trip each year.

The roads are jammed.

Your family’s nuts.

Don’t worry. I’ll come, too.

Your cold is getting worse, dear.

You’re sneezing up a storm.

That cough is bad.

You need some rest.

To bed now! — I’ll come too …

— Donna Hughes

The Fresh Prince of Del Ray

I love my sweet boy

He has so much joy

I warm to his touch

He gives me so much

Makes me want to be

The me that he sees

Not some deadbeat dad

Who'd treat his kid bad

Within me inspire

His heart's desire

— Michael Payne