dog-rhymes and wicked schemes: observations from across a century-old home

That rabid dog still goes to school,
passing a whipjack on its way.
(They’re a bit the same, these
beggars and dogs,
in that they ask — no, whimper
for scraps. Both use their feet
to scratch their backs; on both:
black, soil-infested claws.
The dog does look a bit
nicer, though).

But this dog is different in that it goes to school.
It wears a tie and all that,
it wears a uniform, too.
Make no mistake:
it is still a dog, and possesses
an instinct that wants
nothing more than survival.

Survival: this dog goes to church
and prays with its paws together;
out, glistening tongue.
It cannot kneel so it sits quiet
when it wants its master’s compassion.
It cannot really give anything away
(at least never wholeheartedly), so
it despises the people who can;
it masks its contempt as derision.
The rabid dog that goes to school
has his future set, however.
He will get paid for scoffing
at people in his mind, but
people see only drool on its face,
and only hear it barking mad.

— A. P


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