Every House a Dog

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By J.K. McNeilly

Out here
walking this gravel road,
keep a stick always in hand, a green stick
that will not snap,
because under every porch
lay a scrawny, desperate dog
waiting
for a reason to protect its master’s hate.

When these dogs spring at you, stand
your ground, stare, spit
and show them the stick.
Watch them turn and crawl again under the porch.

Show them kindness and you will lose a hand.

I know this
because I lived in a mean house with a dog,
which died finally,
starved to death
because I could no longer remember
how to feed it.

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6 thoughts on “Every House a Dog

  1. I do not like this story. Nor that the character forgot to feed his dog mean or not. Perhaps, your meaning is underneath the story of merely dogs. But I love dogs a lot. And if they are mean, it is because they have mean masters most of the time. The odd dog acts out and needs to be put down humanely. Starved to death, never. I guess your writing is good because it evoked a lot of emotion in me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a wonderful story and can be seen on two levels. It made me feel ashamed for humanity and the way we abuse and alter Nature. No-one should feel exempt from or above this.

    Like

  3. “A mean house with a dog” really struck me. I know what it’s like to grow up in a mean house, and it can make you stop holding out your hand for scrawny dogs to sniff. I love the deeper meaning in this one.

    Like

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