There was the one dog, neither use nor ornament.
Each morning he lurked by the tanker’s dribbling spout
licking his chops. Spawned every cur in the district.
Bit the postman, once, and got away with it.
There was the other dog, two-bit brother to the first,
eyes like spilt milk. Danced on the slurry pit’s crust
one time to many, said Bob, and no good since.
Bit the builder’s foreman twice, and got away with it.
There was the third dog, each month went walkabout
under a chicken moon, fetching and shedding stars.
Deaf to everyone but Bob’s dad, now four years
bed-bound. What shall I say? Bit nobody, yet.
And lastly there was the bitch. Bit the child.
The four shots blew through the lanes and echoed loud
in the neighbour’s eyes. Only Bob shook my hand,
hitching his trousers up with a ‘Welcome, my friend’.
from Red Devon