A Few Words With My Dog
Recently I sat down with my dog Bonzo
for a man to dog tête à tête – nothing serious,
just a little matter relating to our sleeping arrangements.
I pointed out and with utmost tact – Bonzo
like many dogs is sensitive to criticism –
that while I didn’t mind his sharing my bed,
I could no longer suffer his snooring, least of all
his foul wind-breaking! He was, of course,
surprised at hearing this, his handsome face
barely acknowledging (or trying to) what he had
just heard me say, his way of denying any
recollection of ever doing the one or the other.
I was unprepared for this display of denial.
But I was resolute; some things have to be aired,
if only for the sake of domestic peace.
He, I admit, was at a disadvantage, not able to
counter in his defense. Yet, by the way he cocked
his head from right to left, the way his brows
shot up over his soulful eyes, and the way
his adorable little face froze in a serious
demeanor as if reflecting on what
I had just said, I knew instinctively
his feelings had been hurt, that my words
had been abrasive without meaning to be.
It was as if he were pleading: “Why, master, it’s you
who snores, not me; and what’s more, it’s so loud
I rarely get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep!”
Well, on discerning that, I was cut to the quick,
speechless; in fact, I had to leave the room
lest he see me, a grown man, giving way to tears.
Since then, we haven’t said a word to each other,
only perfunctory glances, and brief acknowledgements,
and warnings mostly on both our parts.
Like “get out of my way, you stupid dog” and he:
Watch it, you clod, or you’ll step on me. Can’t you
see I’m not a carpet!” Or are you blind?
Nothing meant with malice, ill-will,
or lasting resentment. However, I do know
my Bonzo at heart, and he likewise me.
And so this unfortunate breach will pass as have
all the others. And just as he has always done
on many past occasions, so I am confident,
as only a father can, that he will come round again
and offer me a moving and contrite apology
with a generous lick on my forgiving face.
Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2022
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