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My Neighbor’s Brother’s Dog.

November 3, 2007

my elderly neighbor’s brother sits on the tailgate of his truck
reading yesterday’s paper
legs dangling over the edge emit an occasional twitch
his rumpled terrier asleep beside him

I’ve seen him lift the old dog, place him in the truck
then fold his scraggy frame into the red pick-up
where he cleans his collection of tools
before returning them to their box

the dog watches
each morning before nine, he starts the truck and lets it run
thick blue smoke fills the driveway
he sits behind the wheel for hours at a time, staring ahead

as if back on the road traversing Blue Ridge Mountains
or Death Valley; the dog’s head out the window
ears not flapping
later after walking the dog he scoots him through the open

tail gate and leaves him for his daily bark
the terrier yaps incessantly when left alone
standing on his short hind legs, his bobbing head enjoys a rhythmic duet
with his moving mouth

intermittent yells of – shut up – leak from the house
adding more cacophony to the already glaring day
when I say it’s dangerous to leave Snuppy in there
it’s hot, he might die

the old man retorts – he loves it
accompanied by a rasping chuckle
as if having been assured by the dog

Copyright © 2007

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