This is a poem I wrote during the summer of 2012, before I was able to write in first person. It is a metaphorical short story really.
Shelter De’ Sade…
A depressed, nervous, abused animal, shut up in a cage. Long ago given up, at the breaking point. Looking at the bars of the cage with fleeting hope on how to escape, frequently, but without motivation.
Hear his voice, soothing. He sees the cage when no one else does, he said so. He said it made him sad.
See him there, pull myself up and go to the door. I see the lock on the door, with a miserable chain. Look back at him. He doesn’t notice me and I know he will always be on the other side of the bars.
I want his attention, but then I am afraid of that too. And then he is gone. Did he see the fear?
It’s like going to the shelter, looking at the dogs, you are visiting only, but this one catches your eye. Shows some interest, but has been beaten so badly it starts to cower. You shake your head at the inhumanity.
The card on the kennel reads…
“”Not for adoption, PLEASE DO NOT Touch Cage””
You’re back again. Notice she’s still there. She gazes at you for a moment, but looks away when you notice. Puts her head down, hopeless.
You’re back again. You look to see if she is still there. She’s watching you, but looks away again.
You’re back again. You see her standing there, watching. This time, you think you see something different. She drops her head. Whatever it was is gone. She lays back down.
You’re back again. She’s standing, watching. You stand and watch her, hands in your pockets. Puts her head down again, but this time, two steps closer, a couple of inches. Lays back down.
You’re back again. She’s lying down still, looking especially tired. Pained expression, she lifts her head to see you. She doesn’t look away so quickly. Puts her head down, still looking at you. Heavy sigh. Eyes close.
You’re back again. She’s sitting, staring towards your entry, almost as if she’s waiting. Almost? Your hands in pockets. She stays where she is. Looks at you, then away, then back. You say “Hi”. Her ears go up. She takes a step forward, smelling the air. Sits down, ears drop, dark expression as though she is remembering herself. Lays down, curls up, heavy sigh.
You’re back again. She’s laying where she was when you left, eyes closed. You stand hand in pockets, say “Hi puppy”. Eyes open slow, she’s looking at you. Someone is talking to you, you turn, walk away some. She sits up, still watching you. You turn back, say “Gotta go”. Lays back down, closes eyes, heavy sigh.
You’re back. She’s sitting closer to the door now, watching you. Say “Hi pretty puppy.” She looks away, quivers, darkness is gone for a moment. She gazes at you. You jingle some change in your pocket, ears up. Someone is talking to you. You walk away some. You walk back, she is closer to the door now. You jingle your change, head to the side, you laugh. Her eyes brighten a little. You sigh, say “Gotta go” Darkness again, backs further from the door, lower her head still looking at you. You look down thinking, look back up. She’s further away again. Lays down, eyes close, heavy sigh.
You’re back again. Hands in pockets. “Hi pretty puppy.” She stands up slow. Heavy expression, walks slow, almost to the door. Looks at you, then looks towards your pocket. You have no change today. Looks back at you, darkness again, turns, walks away, lies down, eyes close, heavy sigh. Someone is talking to you. You walk away, come back. Eyes still closed. Say “Gotta go.” Eyes stay closed, heavy sigh.
You’re back again. She’s right at the door today, watching. Someone is talking to you, but you know she is watching. Jingle change in your pocket. Curiosity. You’re standing, hands in pockets. Say “Hi pretty puppy” Head to the side. Got something in your pocket, pull it out. She backs up a bit, but curiosity. It’s a key. Lock is off the door now. She’s staring at you. Door is open now. Darkness again, go lie down, close eyes, heavy sigh. Waiting, but she won’t move. Finally say, “Gotta go.” Heavy sigh.
You’re back again. Lock’s off, doors open. She sits away from door, quivers, eyes brighter. Say “Hi pretty puppy.” Head to side, staring at you. Last chance, got your hand on the door, looking down. Then, she’s pushing your hand from your pocket with her nose. Say “Gotta go.” You go home, she follows.
Someone is talking to you. They say “Looks like a different dog.”