Don’t let the dogs smell your fear

This entry is part 7 of 28 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2014-15


Dear father, I remember when you
first said this to me: we were walking
along the road that led from Palma street

to the City Hall where you worked, and we passed
the pink house that no one ever lived in except
in summertime, when its rich owners came

from the big city and the wrought iron gates swung
open to their VW van and black Plymouth Barracuda—
They had no mastiffs on guard, but every other house

had a dog snarling and chained to the stoop;
and mangy strays that lurked in alleys might circle
our heels, their ribs like sad dry accordions

running out of air. My small hand in yours, a cry
ready to fly from my mouth: but you lowered your voice
and taught me to steady my walk, not to show them

the fluttering pulse like a moth they might tear
from the throat of my fear if I gave them a chance,
if I gave them the chance to come that near.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← MetroImmigrant Time →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.