Working on the Hush

I’m trying to lower my voice
to a hush — a hush even,
which is something for me
to accomplish. My voice rises
easily, regularly like a whistle
on the tea-pot as soon as
the water starts boiling —
in excitement and, yes, in
anger, too. The chocolate
lab doesn’t like it when my
voice rises for whatever my
reason such as joy, surprise,
frustration. He cannot tell
the difference. For him it’s
all the whistle on the tea-pot
on the stove. A previous choco-
late lab used to howl when
I played the guitar and sang.
(For awhile, in blissful denial,
I thought he was singing along —
that is, until he out howled
me.) Still another chocolate
lab (We’ve had four.) simply
got up, lowered his ears, tucked
his tail and left the room as
soon as he saw me pick up the
guitar. I think they were giving
artistic critiques. I think this
guy, adopted three years ago,
is telling me something about
his past and so I’m working on
the hush, which my wife confirms
is a really good idea.

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