Come home to find a large strong dog
chained to my house
and I don’t remember being given
or feeding it.
I want you to know
and I don’t want you to know
because I see in its eyes
a lack of intelligence
and when it moves
the big muscles work
at awkward cross-purposes.
Sometimes I come home
and it’s stumbling and drooling.
Sometimes I come home
and its coarsely articulated bones
are quiet and relaxed
into the shape of a deep loyalty.
I say nothing
but you hear and confirm
my feeling
of its unworthiness.
Tonight it died
blind and snarling
and I am freed
into a kind of pure
or deadly calm.
I look down at my limbs
white cleanly formed
and useless.
A perfectly bred
inability to touch
anything –
my own
Not a nerve or a muscle out of place –
dying inside
for the old warp
for its fierce and angular body
to cannon down the hall
and block the light.

from The Tibetan Cabinet (River Road Press, 2010), Caroline Caddy 2010, used by permission of the author and River Road Press

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