913 Readings | 3 Ratings

Collateral

Once I watched my neighbor, returned
from the Gulf, bring a weathered length
 
of scrap two-by-four down, without
hesitating, upon the wrecked
 
spine of a Dalmatian stray. Weeks
he’d kept her in the alleyway
 
behind the garage, her neck tied
to his Ford with an extension
 
cord. Nights, after he’d stumble home
drunk, I’d listen to him shout &
lay into her until he was
done. In that moment though, it was
 
as if this world had never been
more pure, that the rasped October
 
breeze through the birch trees on our street
meant nothing, saw nothing, could say
 
nothing. There was only silence,
then a clang of wood on concrete
 
&, somewhere, the dead leaves stirring.
Posted 05/25/10
Originally appeared in Third Coast, Spring 2010
Comments (2)
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Thanks for the comment, Matt! I'm so happy you found it here. And I didn't know this Brian Barker poem. Thanks for linking to it.
05/25/10 5:32pm
Excellent poem. Heartbreaking in the same way as this poem by Brian Barker (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=146793). Thanks for writing it.
05/25/10 5:20pm