Issue Thirty-Six - Summer 2020

Walking the Shelter Dogs

By John Delaney

When I walk past the adoption cages,
each dog makes a case to be the chosen,
with a bark, a jumping up, some raucous
reason to be recognized and singled out.
When emerging on a leash, each is thrilled
beyond containing, one even straining,
as he parades past his jealous neighbors
to reach the door that magically opens.

Then there’s Millie, who needs to be cajoled,
even begged, to step outside her prison,
to join me in the woods, trails beckoning,
acting as if some unspeakable crime
had been committed, and her punishment
would never be long enough to do the time.

Copyright Delaney 2020