The river dogs

black wooden door frame

Photo by ramy Kabalan on


I went to watch the mountain breathe over your crumbling house

to smell oregano and sulphur in the pollen spotted air

and watch the river dogs wrinkle water as they drink.


I went to visit the room where your Wednesday daughter slept

they supervised your fairy-tales and scrawled ticks and crosses

on Friday they would take her back and you’d sit by the river.


I went to the river and pictured that river dog approach you all nervous.

I remember how you said it was a mistake to let a wild thing into a home

that night it laid a hen by your bed like a gift from the wild at heart.


I remember the bond you had, how the dog slept by the door protecting her.

I remember that Friday when it went to the river to drink with its kin

they turned on it and you realised as the gun cocked what love truly is.

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