Don’t I Know

Rose McLarney

A man who was not to be trusted
once owned the hound. Don’t I know

the kind. But I won’t walk the way
the stray dog does,

head down, side-stepping, skitter.
He’s pulled taut, fear hauling against

his troublesome tendency
towards faithfulness.

Yes, he runs the ridges and feeds himself.
His feet are fast, his teeth sharp.

But what I watch is how he stops to pluck
sweet blackberries.

Hound on the hill,
sun-warm fruit in the hound.

There is a tenderness that persists.
When he bays above us,

a longing song, let me turn
to take a new man’s arm.

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