November 15, 2011

dog behind bars

dog behind bars
doing time
gathering sympathy
from passers-by
black, young, strong
a patio is his prison
a patio where another dog lies
quiet, tired, numb
been there longer
knows better than that
but knows as well what he is
what he has become

the black, young one
longing for freedom
gathers sympathy from a girl, street lads
a smile brings light
a pat brings joy
silence brings everything back
as I, the poet writing this verses
get a glimpse from afar
riding the bus on an empty stomach
fiddling with issues from long and behind
an instant captive
riddled by the moral of the story
setting my problems aside
wondering who the dog is
who is actually in prison
what the odds are
of living in fantasy of freedom
or knowing better, lying stiff and numb
a dog minus the sympathy
another dog behind bars

james pendleton (Bordentown City, NJ, 1979)