I once knew a woman
alas, no more

(I mean, alas no more do I know, her 
Not ‘no more’ in the sense of her being dead)
(Although she may be, for all I know
But I very much hope not, obviously)

I once knew a woman
alas no more
Probably still very much alive

A seemingly sane woman
by most available
measurable psychiatric standards
pertaining to mental health

Upright(??), appealing, friendly and kind
who just so happened
to bark at her dog

She sat me down one day
One day
she sat me down
in her kitchen
at the table
and she explained
She wanted to explain

She said she needed to explain
telling me that from the first moment they met
then-puppy and her 
she’d made dog noises

Dog noises
Based upon her understanding
having tuned-in
to the properties of sound 
a dog can create
that reflect 
their state of mind
through frequency 
wavelength and amplitude 
The very psychology and emotion
of every dog’s mood 

When indicating joy to her pup
she would make short, excited barks
Little yaps, you might say
Excited, fun and a precursor to physical play

In moments of calm
lazing upon the sofa
affirmative, guttural vibrations
merged with other
seemingly random tones
punctuated with short huffs

If the dog had done wrong
she would bark and growl
even bare her teeth
gritted together
when really, really bad

If sad, as you might expect
pathetic melodies
a variety of high pitched whining

I saw all this
I heard all this
She demonstrated 
freely to me

This was all fine
mostly all fine
but not fine all of the time

So heavily invested
in this mimicry and dog language
she’d engage without cautionary forethought
Anywhere, everywhere, parks, shops
and fuel station forecourts

Situations of a social kind, too
Can you imagine?

(Please, take a moment)

For her, it became instinct
second nature
an absorption

For people around her
they started thinking and then talking
saying she was mad

After a while
she saw people a lot less
A lot, lot, less 
Even dog-walkers avoided her
when I knew her back then

I wish I still knew her now
I liked to watch her 
communicate with that dog

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