Thursday, March 31, 2011

Harry's Dog

The dog trots
at the end of her leash
past the affordable housing
and the barky dog house
on the corner
by the old folks home -
she, herself, preferring
to bark at squirrels,
and she does -
past the peaceniks
on the corner
of 1965 and 2010,
where the new old folks home
was supposed to go up,
but never did,
past the invisible arts center,
past the Presbyterian Church
and the pagans on the bench
in front of Tom's market,
the guy with the drum,
the guy with the whistle
and the megaphone
and the whoopie cushion
that never surprises anyone,
past the Emporium and the Underdog,
where she looks in the window
at the endless conversation
about the enemy at the gate,
past the knit knot tree
and the lingerers malingering benignly,
past the senior center,
which is at the center of everything,
past Dino's with its loud music
and hipsters with laptops
surveying the scene,
past the diners in the Winds,
past the skateboarders
and the bad boys in the parking lot
with their caps
turned backward on their pinheads,
past the Corner Cone
where they sell Indian food
on a stick
and American food
in a cone
and poets gather on a stage
where they can't be heard,
past the Post Office
that is about to close
and the pumps at the BP
- gas is 3.65.9 and rising -
past Sergeant Nipper
in his radio motor patrol car,
keeping an eye on the dragon lady
and the teenagers in the parking lot,
past the Chamber of Commerce
where local artists hang paintings
in the restrooms.

Harry's dog is headed
for the Village Council
in the Village Hall
with Harry in tow,
past the police dispatcher,
past the girls in the utilities office,
which is closed for lunch and beyond,
past the rec center and the gym
where a lone kid bounces a basketball,
waiting in vain
for other kids to come and play,
past the economic sustainability coordinator,
and the Mayor's Court
where there is little juris
and lots of prudence.

This is a real, live, barking dog,
with a real dog-eared complaint.
She would love to chase the car,
but the wheels are spinning
and it's going nowhere:
the Center for the Arts,
the senior apartments
and her pet peeve,
the dog park,
all buried under a pile
of endless surveys
and bitter arguments.
She would like to sniff her way
to the bottom of it,
bark out some orders
and get things done
in her own doggie style.

-vh

My apologies to Lawrence Ferlinghetti

5 comments:

Linda Rudawski said...

She is leading Harry to a higher ground...

Caroline said...

Are we supposed to laugh or cry? I'm torn...

Anonymous said...

The dog has it all figured out.

maya said...

Harry's dog for mayor!

Anonymous said...

A round of apaws!