The old, shade-baked dog bolted
off the porch,
the plowboys in a beat-up Chevy yelling
like wet flags, a towel
wrapped in the hubcap. By the time
the dog caught up, he looked
like an enraged sud, running on stilts.
With a mercy that expects greater gore
the boys held off
the acid-gun from his eyes.
His snarling teeth
clinched in on the towel, took the bait,
down his whole length the spin
of the tire, like
a woodstock on a lathe, his head
wrapped turban-fashion like a splayed
Saracen. He felt every bone
snap and puncture
some inexpendable organ,
even for a dog.
When the towel worked loose
from the bloody
ornament of the smoking wheel, he did
not convulse of yelp,
or die. But standing
kneedeep in his dropping guts, he took
of the road, and waited.
When the car turned around, came back
in a whine, he
planted himself like an iron
pick, met the grill
face to face, sent
his whole insides up the hood, the windshield, like
the world’s biggest butterfly, blocked
the entire vision
of the onrushing earth, the shoulder,
telephone pole, the
in the kingdom of dog.
© The Estate of Sandford Lyne