Year Of The Dog

Lazy summer days to an entire year of honour, I am
celebrated as much as scorned. The beast
allowed into your home and bed, my definition or
exhibition of loyalty, and love, is to be questioned
as it is accepted.

Companionship influenced
by kind voice or treats offered. Easily convinced.
Temptation or transgressions, it takes little
to capture my attention, much more to hold it.
Contrary to belief, I cannot be trained.

Pedigree required to act on command. A mongrel,
comfortable in its identity, knows better
ways of the street.

Not meant to stand still. Often,
I have strained at the leash, welts on my neck
from collar tight, firm hand, and fierce effort.
I have and will, without notice, escape
into the greater world.
Mischief has been made in the night.

I have howled at many moons, carelessly run
with the pack of unsuitable delinquents, and lain down
with bitches of convenience who led me astray.

I’ve sniffed, slobbered ravenously,
at opportunities seized. Feral at heart, mindlessly foolish,
each moment an occurrence to be appreciated
and savoured. Biologically stimulated,
there is no thought process to primal urge.
Even Pavlov was mistaken when it came to reward.

I have pissed in places I shouldn’t have; begged
for food, release, comfort, or companionship.
Deliriously exhausted, I will curl up
on your comfortable couch and offer no reason
or excuse for my whereabouts or behaviour.

Sleeping dogs lie. Dream of what happened
and when again, ears twitch in afternoon silence.
Another night soon will come.

Scratch my back until I growl,
receive my wet nose and attention unconditionally.
Hose me down when I smell, take me for a car ride
once in a while, so I can see other possibilities.
Understand, however, my need for independence.
I will run out, dart into traffic, as
I try to find my own way.

Yes, I will stray, yet miraculously or mysteriously,
always find my way home. I am a dog.

© 2018 j.g. lewis

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