No Leashes for Laika


There’s no
more leashes
tricks and kennels.
No more begging for
biscuits and hoping for
scraps. Freedom is cold
and dark, but yours. You
trade dirt holes for black
holes. Dark alleys gone,
you play in dark nebula
now. You, first animal to
circle the planet, a hero
among our earthkind. I
wonder if you care, lost
way out there with no
arms to hold you, no
rubs for your head
and I wish I could
have saved you.
No more leash
just starshine
and dark


It’s Laika Day to honor the little mutt dog Russia launched into space in 1957. She was the first animal to orbit earth. Laika is a hero, but her story is a sad one to me. If she could have chosen otherwise, I think she would have gladly given up global fame for a forever home on Earth. I would have taken her. In honor of Laika, homeless pets and International Speculative Poetry Day, here’s a speculative poem about all of it.