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by the front door lies a drunkard's dog
his purgatory ends at last call
an old wound like a tree bole
throbs on his leg
it is more than two years now
since the javalinas bit him up
germs swine are more used to
live under his skin
the cyst is deep in the cartilage
he can't walk without whimpering
on this winter night his pain is plain as starlight
bright and round and old as the moon
fine people spend good money here
and step right over him
i have faith but no money
or i'd steal him and see what the vet can do
a word to the wise to his master
could just maybe get him shot
even crippled like that he is game enough still
to turn up smelling of having been skunked
when i see him i bless him
as best i can
he's the last one i say good night to here
rubbing his shoulder like an impotent god

Copyright 01/99 Robert N. Erman

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