Kick A Dog

IMG_2180The other night I infiltrated a poetry reading. It was a covert operation that involved assuming the identity of one its members, while he lay bound and gagged in the trunk of my car.

Alright, I’m lying. I don’t own a car. He was bound and gagged in a dumpster, hidden beneath a layer of unsold bagels.

When it came time for me to read, a poem named Kick A Dog was what called out from my archives. It went over well, despite the fact that everyone seemed to think that I was talking about literally kicking a dog. I mean, come on, it’s a pretty thinly veiled metaphor.

Download Kick A Dog

Kick A Dog

Kick a dog just for fun
He starts to think he did something wrong
Hangs his head in his food dish
Chews with his mouth closed
Rations his water in tiny, muted licks
Spends longer hours in his kennel
Loses the wag from his tail
As he does everything he can to stop being a dog

Kick a dog just for fun
He stops returning the ball when you throw it
Thinks you hate it when he does that
Stops rubbing his ears against your leg
Makes due with the couch instead

Kick a dog just for fun
You take all the fun out of the dog
He stops barking at the doorbell
Stops coming when he’s called
Thinks his name means something bad, something derogatory
Plays dead before you ask him to
Tries to stop loving you
Because he thinks he’s been loving you wrong

Send him to the pound
Donate him to the Seeing Eye Foundation
Let the feds train him to sniff for bombs
But he will never trust another human foot again

Kick a dog just for fun
Maybe you wanted to see what would happen
He’ll never be able to comprehend why you did it
Just that you did it

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