Sunday, October 28, 2007

A familiar anxiety

My stray

Unpredictable fear, cringing then snapping, dogs me. I
hear it hiding beneath my house, whining its low keening
whimper every night, a scabrous thing in the dark. It won’t
leave me, bristles and begs attention a body-length away
lest I touch it. Poor sooty beast, how long can I sit with you,
careful not to meet your eyes when you’re tugged close
by hunger, jerked back by random noise and nightmare?
Lifetimes, perhaps, till you'll let me clean that wound.


Dale said...

That's good to know. You seem so fearless!

dinahmow said...

Poem? Metaphor? Confession? However I
see it, it's in sharp focus.

Rethabile said...

Poor, sooty thing! What an excellent homage to an underdog. The pun came quite by accident.

Lori Witzel said...

Hi, y'all!

Dale -- "Seem" is the operative word. I spend a lot of time behaving as if my stray weren't whimpering, because behaving in line with my fears would make mine a smaller life than I'd like to live. And now to find a biscuit, and coax it out...

Dinahmow -- Poem made while dealing with the feeling, and thanks for the nod to clarity.

Rethabile -- Thanks so much, and don't they always come that way?


am said...

Thank you, Mr. Dog. You who suffer from a timeless wound, a sooty burn which remains unhealed, a wound which doesn’t kill but disables through multiple lifetimes.

You are the suffering dog in the First Noble Truth.

You are the anxiety caught up in desire and aversion.

You are the stray dog who is within reach of the end of suffering.

You are the fear which has found the way leading to the cessation of suffering. You are the scorched dog who has come to hide under the house of compassion, a compassion that will sit with you always.

And you are a healer in disguise, the one who arouses compassion in the house that first shelters it unwillingly and then willingly.

You are my stray dog, my story dog, mystery dog, Mr. Dog.

(thanks so much, Lori, for your healing poem)

R.L. Bourges said...

air out like punch in the gut on this one. man. deep breath. great stuff, kid. knocked flat out.