Wednesday, 17 August 2016
poetry 2016 / 088
The summer heat is already turning
last month's mud into cracked and shattered paving.
Three dogs of varying ages – one young,
king of the street and barks to prove it.
I imagine he has the canine version of Tourette's
and is telling dogs and cars to fuck off home
but his tail wags and he dances around the lead
when it gets stuck under his armpit. The old
dog trots behind; blind deaf, feeling his way
by familiarity with the path and the scent
of his companions. Pause to urinate, to defecate;
never in one pile but walked along; a garden trail
of finders-keepers where the only prize is warm hands.
The third dog is ten. Young enough to embroil herself
in the exuberance of the young dog but old enough
to walk to heel, silent except to compete in the chorus
of fuck-you-no-fuck-you when they pass another dog.
In the woods we are alone, but for the myriad piles
of rottweiler shit from the owner of number 2
who never picks up after his dogs. Always the same
but my dogs are cowed when they pass those metal cages.