Today's poem is by Rena Priest
The Rental Dog
The train came and the man
sat next to me, showed me
a photo of his daughter, told me
the story of his life. "Kicked out!"
he said, of the German air-force,
his marriage, his home. He
had just returned from New Mexico...
"I was out there living in a teepee,
trying to get clean of the New York guck."
"My rental dog was eaten by coyotes.
They lured him with a female in heat.
They're cannibals you know."
The dog's true owner was a hippie girl.
She took the news like business.
"It's nature, stupid dog," was all she said.
Later, I told his story to an optimist
named Nancy. She believes:
"The dog ran away with the coyotes.
Shrugged off his rental dog existence;
became a real dog, baying at the moon."
But looking at this man, I remembered
hearing that a pet takes on
the characteristics of its companion,
and Nancy's theory seems implausible,
for this man has in his eyes the look
of a rental dog, unloved, and therefore,
easily lured and devoured
Copyright © 2017 Rena Priest All rights reserved
from Patriarchy Blues
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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