KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 3: Spring 2015
Poem: 205 words [R]

Monumental Dog

by Georgia Jones-Davis
Where is the dog the Soviets
shot into space in 1957?
Where is Laika tonight?
Her bones could be sailing overhead,
a satellite of the cold war
still stuck in the traffic
of the commuting sky.
Experts now contend
that she died of overheating
within hours of launch
her R-J sustainer 
having failed to separate
from the payload.
She died,
the rest of us believe,
an orbiting, kenneled cosmonaut,
a terrified dog star,
night and day chasing past her,
the moon escaping fast as a cat.
She howled, I am the only dog
circling the campfire of the world,
lonesome as a wolf
in the prehistoric shadows.
On the sixth day her breath evaporated;
she starved and froze in her capsule
as the human sounds she recalled—
Moya malishka, moya Laylika—
receded in her ears
with the memory of meat
and Kremlin bells only a dog can hear.
Laika was mailed into space,
a letter never answered,
a missal to the gods of the future.
To please him she submitted
to her handler’s velvet-voiced commands,
the same voice that whispered her name.
She thrilled to the clammy, cushiony hands
that stroked her fur
even as they strapped her in.

—From Night School (Finishing Line Press, 2015); republished here by author’s permission

Georgia Jones-Davis
Issue 3, Spring 2015

grew up in Northern New Mexico and Southern California. A former free-lance journalist and editor at the Los Angeles Times, she is the author of two chapbooks, Blue Poodle (2011) and Night School (2015), both from Finishing Line Press. She is a former board member of Valley Contemporary Poets, a non-profit. Her work has appeared in various publications including West Wind, The California Quarterly, Brevities, The Bicycle Review, Nebo, Eclipse, and South Bank Poetry, London.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Georgia Jones-Davis at Poetry Cafe, an audio interview by Lois P. Jones which originally aired on KPFK Los Angeles and is reproduced at Timothy Green, the blog by Rattle editor Timothy Green; also includes text of the poem “The Visitors”

Three Poems from Blue Poodle (“The Day Tumbles Away like a Butterfly,” “Apple Weather,” and “Even in January”) in Moonday Poetry (13 December 2011)

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