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Joules, a mongrel

Lunger after cars,
Fence-long chaser of passers-by,
Lightning-fast protector
Of stones and scraps
Of paper that he sets such
Teasing store by,
Nothing betrays the hip
Deformity that might have meant
A life confined to leads
And medication.

Kernel in the curves
Of older dogs whose ears he holds
In constant open season,
Teddy-bear-like he peers
Through facial fur, head
Cocked to listen, waiting
To welcome a return with such
Ecstasy of warmth it seems
Death must have intervened
And this is heaven.


by Damaris West

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