Dog Dreams

An old pit bull, he sleeps
on a throw rug
in my front room.
He kicks, grunts
and snarls as if chasing
or being chased.
This is just instinct,
I tell myself, how he
still survives in dreams.
But maybe that isn’t all,
maybe he dreams of
a time long ago when
he and his kind roamed
the edges of Roman camps,
barked at any strange noise.
Before that he might have
been a wild, graveyard dog,
digging up corpses
gnawing the bones.
His deepest dream is
of iron gates he
guarded, the gates of hell
itself. He kept damned
souls from escaping.
He wakes up slowly,
shakes his massive head
and waits for the leash.

Front page image by Heather Katsoulis.

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