Zoniedude text 3D

A Phoenix Fiction Writer Rising From The Ashes of Nonfiction



Poem Introduction

Long nights in a long life.

Been there,
done that,
wear the T-shirt.



A Dog Barking Outside MDoor
by Michael T. Martin

Walking alone in the cold dark night,
From the local bar, headed home,
Where again no one waited for me,
No woman here, no woman there.

They say that hope springs eternal
But that spring seems to have run dry.
So here I was walking quietly alone again
When an angry dog rushed out at me.

“BARK BARK BARK, growl, grrrr,” he said,
Stopping abruptly a few feet away, circling.
I think he expected me to run or cower
But I was too depressed to care or scare.

“BARK BARK,” he said insistently, “bark.”
“Shut the fuck up, dog,” I replied distantly.
“Growl, grrrr, gruff,” he said, frustrated at me.
I kept walking so he started following me.

Soon we were walking quietly together
Side by side on the gritted gravel shoulder
Down the empty street, the dog panting,
Serving as an ersatz woman companion.

I've lived alone for a very long time.
To the point I knew that if I died
Only one person in the world would care,
And that person would be dead.

“Go away, dog,” I said, “Git.
I don't even like dogs.”
The dog gave me a glance
But kept walking along with me.

Not that it mattered
In the grand scheme of things.
“This is pathetic,” I finally said.
He let his tongue hang out, smiling.

When we got to my place I left the road
Went inside and closed the door.
“Bark, bark, bark bark,” said the dog.
I opened the door, just a little.

“Look dog, you don't understand,”
I said softly through the small opening,
“I don't speak dog, and you don't know English.”
The dog looked at me with a cocked head.

“Sorry dog,” I mumbled, removing my clothes,
“If you were a woman calling outside my door,
I'd let you in for sure. But it's only you, dog.
No woman ever called to me outside my door.”

Although, I had to admit, in karmic honesty,
I had actually called outside a woman's door,
To her, more than once, to different women,
With the same result for me as for this dog

The dog sat upright in front of me.
“Skree unh,” he said, “gruff.”
I closed the door and headed to bed.
“Bark bark bark bark,” I heard again.

I turned out the light and slipped into bed, ending the day.
Somewhere in the darkness, the dog just went away.


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