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Today's poem is by Lawrence Revard

At the Pound

Take a look at the ugly ones
Tensing for hours in concrete pens.

Names like Lucky, Shadow, and Star
Hang on each like Murderer

Or Liar. Every breed a cross,
Its martyred genes a kind of guess

At loyalty or innocence.
Mutts are what we mean by chance.

People visit. After, the dogs
Circle on their urinous legs,

Recouping their luck. When they drop
Dead we will say, Put to sleep.

I do not mind. The phrase is for us,
With its forgiving hint of gas—

Far better than put down, mislaid,
Abandoned, lost
, or left for dead.

Still, I turn on myself to clutch
Inward for meaning like the latch

A dog can't work. Death is no gift,
But it is—somehow—less than theft.

When I lift their corpses, whole
But for some breath, I know I feel

Something give, or something lost
Too small, maybe, to have been missed—

The glimmerings of that single cell
That knows and feels and hears the call

When it is time. When it is time,
Will I know? Will I hear my name?



Copyright © 2003 Lawrence Revard All rights reserved
from The Gingko Tree Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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