I need to reach into my soul and scratch that itch—

Why else, write poetry?

Yesterday, a black dog was blocking my way

to the restroom

An ill omen?

I hope not.

He’s our obedient lab

forced to stare at kids

and accounting,

all day.

No wonder

he has a glazed look in his eyes

His mistress is miles away

getting lunch.

He just stands there, like a Zen Master

Hypnotized

not even wagging his tail.

“Will he get to go outside?” I ask our bookkeeper.

“No—he’s in training,” she tells me.

Today,

a coyote was trotting through the tall grass

on the golf course, at sunrise

like a thief

wary

and wonderful

in the morning light

So different,

from that dog

that doesn’t take delight

in anything.

The kids pet it

and it doesn’t even blink

It has too much love

Just a working dog

punching a time clock

waiting…

for what?

The end of its life, that never happened.

At least I can write poetry

sometimes, it’s bad

at other times, profane

but I want to be that coyote

and never that dull dog.

I want to put it out of its misery

but our school

is a gun-free zone

So, I’ll have to watch him die slowly

from one day

to the next.

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