Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Canine Woman



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.


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