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."
He paused,
"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
MoonPath Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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