Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Death of a dog

From his sunny spot in a dusty yard
He came out onto the road to do his doggy duty:
To bark at me as I came past.

But this dog came without the urgency
That some dogs display:
The ones who bark and really mean it;
The ones whose bites may be worse
Than their barks.

This dog, it seemed to me, was only
Going through the motions.
His barking was neither angry, nor particularly loud,
In the manner of one who understands,
Deep down, that this barking is merely a convention;
That the passer-by will likely continue his passing-by
Quite harmlessly,
Bark, or no bark.

It was a four-wheel-drive, big, red, fast, that got him.
A moment after I had passed
I heard the sound,
Heavy, soft and wet,
And understood immediately what had happened.

The driver, of course, did not stop.
The dog, and his bark, simply disappeared.

I felt a warm fleck on my cheek.

And, looking down,
Saw my clothes spattered
With something unspeakable.

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