The Shadow of a Dog Catcher

Fell led the band, his right arm
bobbing up
thrusting the baton in
and out
of time.

He’d seen a dog walking upright – a veritable, verifiable pooch up on two feet, that day.

And it had stuck with him,
struck him as a bit off, that
there’d been no jacket to go with
its shirt and tie.

He figured it was proselytizing –
they did that, time to time.
Hoping for the occasional sad,
lonely old lady
to answer the door.

“Howdy. Howdy,” they’d bark,
right before sinking their teeth into your face.

Fall’s arm was moving
up and down again,
in and out
of context.

Thing had a will of its own.

“Howdy!” he was shouting – mouth speckled with foam.

“Howdy!” knowing it was time to put him down. That they’d finally arrived.

At last.

-Martin Burns


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