Just Like Deputy


We each sit in our respective spots
just out of the rain, little Deputy Dawg and I,
waiting for unknown prey to pop its head above the mud,
come slithering out from under a little bit
of landscape. There he goes, tearing ass
along his zip run, the cable sizzling
like a griddle until he reaches the end of the line,
where he tips up on his hind legs
and chews the air with yips, yaps and
a little guy’s idea of a fearsome bark.

On his way back under the porch, he dives
into a mole hole. Pushing and digging his way
into the lair of the unseeing though quite knowing,
he comes up with something indeterminate
from this poetic promontory, something
small and dark that he shakes until he’s satisfied
he’s drained the wild out of it.
Now he’s nibbling on its innards, sometimes
tossing a bit to the ground and ignoring it,
others giving it a sniff and a lick,
then putting it back with the body.

I understand this great hunt, the running headlong
into the darkness, ending up covered
in a kind of mud and blood, tipping back,
chewing the air with sounds little guys of each
our species make when we’ve spied our prey
and go in for the coup de grace. I know the feeling
of pulling something small and icky
from the muck and then tossing its best bits
into a pile for the unseen though quite knowing…
just like this…just like Deputy.

Poem #20 of Poem-a-Day NaPoWriMo 2015. This one coming on a rainy day here, watching the little Jack Russell next door do his thing (which has from time to time included nipping the poet’s writing hand). Now I’ve nipped little Deputy, myself. That’s the little devil up there in a nine-fingered photo by yours truly.

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