Here, this darker map of sand. Piss
and otherwise. There, your steel bowls—
water and dry food. The tarp
blocks the sun’s worst,
but you keep to the shadows
of your house. You’re a brooder—
no pacing, no bark, bite indeterminate.
From dark oblong of doorway,
yellow eyes give away nothing.
Sometimes you emerge, pad across
cage to watch the children
howling and wild. No tail wag,
no expectation, perhaps a longing
forgotten. Shepherd, pastor alemán.
Your master whistles past,
garden artichokes, sheets fresh off the line,
passes two fingers through links
for a quick scratch of forehead
and thick fur. From the balcony
of the ancient farmhouse, between
hills a tease of glowing sea,
blue promise. You can’t see that from
here, where days are numbered.
Gaylord Brewer is a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, where he founded and for more than 20 years edited the journal Poems & Plays. His most recent book is the cookbook-memoir The Poet’s Guide to Food, Drink, & Desire (Stephen F. Austin, 2015). His tenth collection of poetry, The Feral Condition, is forthcoming from Negative Capability Press.