Allan Kolski Horwitz


The little black dog

The little black dog is dying
he drags his hind-legs
       lingers in the kennel
    whines at all hours
       won't eat

the little black dog is dying
               spinal column falling apart
       discs collapsing without a chance to rebuild

abused by drunks as a pup
saved from the gutter
we gave him a yard
and a patch of grass
    but he never stopped cowering

over the years we fed him
    bones and gravy
   mash and dry biscuits
    but he never stopped staring
fierce wounded eyes ready for beating
   never stopped snapping if we tried to put on a collar
to keep him safe on a walk in the streets
  never stopped shying away
when we tried to bath or to pet him

but today when I gave him his pill
       he licked my hand
        licked my face
       he swallowed that pill in one gulp
the pill that makes the pain that will not go away
       go away

at last the little black dog
let me hold him


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