Dogs 2007

SHARED REMORSE
(4/24/07)


she was
normally
a bouncing
body of energy
when I approached
but tonight
the Boxer bitch
was solemn
head down
slowly making her way
toward the fence
of her backyard
compound

my smile
slipped into
a frown of concern
thinking that somebody
somewhere
had abused her
since the last time
I had seen
this friendly
dog

but
as reached
over the chain-link
I first smelled
then saw
the squirrel corpse
in the near
corner

she sat
solemnly
on the other side
instead of jumping
to be petted
looking up
at me
then over
to the recently
departed
rodent

the flies
had found
their meal
for the day
and all
we could do
was watch

was she
a killer
or just
a wary
witness?

I leaned over
as far as possible
scratched her head
and around
her ears
seeing no blood
on her muzzle
but she
kept staring
to the side
inconsolable

finally
I stopped
and she slunk
to the opposite
corner
as I backed away
returning sadly
to the street
and my walk

we were
both
ashamed
or our
mortality