It was Snoopy’s way
of living through Charlie Brown’s shame and ignominy,
his low self-esteem.
Dogs are sensitive that way.
Snoopy co-opted Charlie’s
gnawing desire for a heroic life,
or at least to do something right,
to feel right inside his own skin.
And from this despair exposed to daylight,
came the necessary opening line, the launch-point into missive—
It was a dark and stormy night.
It was the way of story, its natural order, and hydraulic gist.
Snoopy, in his goggles and aviator’s cap,
took off, as his doghouse soared through clouds
and into the wild blue yonder
to wage battle with his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron,
yet do not be fooled by the projected arc of this narrative—
this wasn’t really about saving Fifi, Snoopy’s designated canine damsel in distress,
nor was it about vanquishing the Red Baron in order to justify his own existence,
no, this was the essential ancient plight and burden of the storyteller,
absorbing the heartache of a friend, a loved one,
a communion of blues
demanding transmutation into story,
where company is kept, and dearly so,
through the bond of trespasses
and flights of substantial fancy.