At the Starbucks, a woman in sweats
And her hopping dog, trailed before me.
A red and longhaired dog and his mate.
I held the door open for her and the pup,
And listened as she stumbled her faux-straight words
For water in a cup, in a voice estranged
At the edge from which we caution ourselves.
The baristas gave over a slosh and Watch out!
With professional (but suspicious) cheer,
Eyes following the pair as they left the shop.
I ordered and left, and just stepping the curb,
I heard Sir! Would you have a dollar to spare?
I said Yes (expecting) and peeled off a bill.
Her eyes and cheeks, punchdrunk from abuse,
Held a thousand-word secret,
The thousand bad words we don't want to hear.
I gave her some good: Take care of your dog.