K-9

Iím a dog
taking myself
out for a walk,
no leash needed
I walk myself.
I wag my own tail.
Walkiní on, walkiní on
seeing other dogs
smiling back at me
from the end
of their leash . . .
well pleased
with the lifestyle
of a lapdog.
Well fed
and well groomed
well kept
and well bred
and well trained
to respond to various commands:
Sit.  Stay.  Heel.
While I walk on . . .
seeing dogs in cages,
dogs restrained
with fences
and electronic collars . . .
dogs howling
to run in the freedom
of night, but chained
to a tree in the yard
or caught behind
a fence on which they bite
with contempt and anger;
anger for they know
no matter how hard they bite
they can never bite through
and contempt for the fact
that there is nothing else they can do
but bite on the fence
with contempt
for the restraint it represents . . .
and I trot on . . . trot on . . . trot on.

Passing signs that read
ď Keep Off The Grass ď,
but Iím a dog
and donít speak English
so freely, I trot over
the verdant, soft grass
stopping only
to relieve myself
on the sign . . . there
now this spot is mine
and the scent I leave behind
becomes a memory
of what I think of this place,
this sign and your green, soft grass.

and I trot on . . . trot on . . . trot on.

                                       C. Lilly - 'A Day in the Mind'