The Dog and I
The dog stopped barking after Donna left.
The threat was gone. But he didn’t get violent.
He knows the black and the white. But there’s
this gray area. The intruder seemed welcome.
There’s been others besides Donna.
The dog sniffs in every corner of the house.
He knows more of its history than I do.
I read books.
The dog doesn’t bother me when I do.
He merely sits silently, solemnly, at my feet.
My mind is too much of a barrier.
I live with a dog.
All he asks of me
is shelter, food and water,
and the occasional neck rub.
Other people come and go.
His reactions are a combination of instinct and training.
Sometimes, he scratches on the door
to be let out.
Of the house that is.
Not of the arrangement.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.