The Help Desk: A poem for the lonely

Every Friday, Cienna Madrid offers solutions to life’s most vexing literary problems. Do you need a book recommendation to send your worst cousin on her birthday? Is it okay to read erotica on public transit? Cienna can help. Send your questions to

Dear Cienna,

Will you please write me a poem?


Lonely in Longview

Dear Lonely,

Have you considered investing in a companion? You could test the waters with a worm farm or jump whole hog into something more leggy, like a dachshund. I do not recommend spiders for beginners. They demand a taxing amount of eye contact.

Unfortunately, I don't write poetry unless it's in threat form. (I read on a bathroom stall that law enforcement have a difficult time distinguishing credible threats from art if they rhyme.) But my mother once wrote a lovely poem about friendship that may speak to your heart:

I have my puppy sitting here
Very close, I love him dear
Too bad that he's been dead a year.
He's kind of cold and stiff to touch
He's cheap to feed – he don't eat much.
I have to go, no time to talk
It's time to drag him for his walk.