I thought I’d bond with The Wild Ones.
At Thanksgiving with my family
I choose to sit at the kid’s table
because those conversations –
they have no pretense, no pressure –
just banter and video game talk.
But this time, I sat at the grown-up’s table.
Molly – the Space-black old girl
with a thick Cesarean scar down her belly.
She banged out three litters –
two of The Wild Ones suffocated in the womb –
but Molly didn’t blame Anyone,
because They sell the litters off anyway.
Molly – with a salt-and-pepper snout,
squats between two tomato vines
watching The Wild Ones,
with her Redwood eyes.
They clank against one another like gladiators –
sixty pounds of purebred meat –
over tennis balls, orioles, squirrel chatter and red plastic bones.
And all of these are equally foreign,
like they’d never seen a bird fly.
Or maybe they just wonder what it’d be like
to perch on roofs and satellite dishes,
but just for a moment,
and then back to chasing tennis balls
and howling at squirrel chatter
and sharpening their incisors
on red plastic bones.
Molly – a pupil-black old girl
with a faded purple paisley bandanna.
She doesn’t understand Them
and why They like to dress dogs in Their clothes
and take us outside on Their time
when old girls know their way home by now.
Molly – her wet, leathery nose in my palm,
that’s unfolded and curious
for the ominous mist and a curtain of sky.
And like Billie Holiday, I ask –
Am I Blue?
But Molly doesn’t care if my black pupils
are off in some remote black Space.
As long as The Wild Ones have their moments of splendor
and the old girl gets a firm belly rub.
That’s all she needs now.