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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