Bad dog. The baleful head, already lowering, turns
a sideways eye up to my accusation,
and then ever so softly and gently,
lets the missing half of my salmon
‘n cheese sandwich
drop to the floor.
It must have been the cheese
Even unwrap a block from the fridge,
and he turns the corner in a mute ask.
We all have our weakness. And bad company.
Those pups from up the hill who munched
my pasta and parmesan off the back porch
one day. They’ve led him astray.
It’s that way with us all. Honest, part of the
family. But oh, that one thing… the apple
in the garden for each of us… and we fall.
It’s why my wife said that I had to forgive
him. He wouldn’t be able to stand the exile
from our pack. From the garden of our home.
So I pat him on the way out the door where he
has exiled himself in quiet on cold slate
since the remand. And I fluff his hair, chuck
under his chin, and rough the uplooking head,
to let him know that he is still in grace.
Still in the garden, our pack, the family.