Every morning, guaranteed,
they come, an ordinary man
walking his dog on a tight lead;
the dog’s the size of a minivan,
of an unreflective black that wrings
the color out of morning light,
even its eyes; its tongue swings
across teeth of brilliant white.
Passers-by give them room.
They weigh the same, within a pound;
it’s clear the beast can take its groom
wherever it wants: it chooses its ground,
chooses where, chooses when,
allows the man to trudge along,
even to stop now and then,
but they don’t sniff the roses long.
A gentle tug on the silver chain
fastened to its master’s wrist
puts them on their way again,
dog and numb equilibrist.
Then I see them all around,
pegging down the avenue
chained to their funereal hounds,
envying the free, the few.
We stop to watch a little while,
but there isn’t much time, I know;
my hulk, with a feral smile,
insists it’s time to go. I go.