Shame and Something Else
Someone shot the beagle at close range
with a crossbow, the arrow stuck crosswise
through its body, just under the spine.
But a boy found the dog stumbling in the woods
and brought it in, worked off the vet bill in barter.
Someone left the cattle to starve in the barn,
standing locked in their stanchions. Someone
gave the six-pound puppy a good quart of beer
for fun. A cat prowled the barn
with a loop of intestine hanging out.
Someone left the dachshund in the cold garage
for three days, trying to birth its dead pup,
until the stink could not be ignored.
Someone put out poison, aimed his truck at the turtle in the road.
Someone beat the draft horse with a loose board
ripped off the fence in anger.
An angry guard shoves a ragged letter under a cell door.
But the letter comes. Someone’s
ears are filled with the speech of birds. Someone
dreams of flying. Someone shows another
how to bathe a child. A small dog snoozes
in the sun beside a door. Someone stands
in the yard shading her eyes with a hand, counting
birds. Someone tries to patch
things up. For shame. For something else.
Someone holds the door. Someone
takes a piece of paper, carefully
picks up a spider, sets it outside.about the author