4 August 2005 | Vol. 5, No. 2

When Dogs Rule

I watch the hound drape

a dead me with a red robe

instruct my child in morals,

correct my ethical shortcomings.

What of an orphan living in a steel dungeon,

home-schooled by a cackling jackal?

Such devotion, passed like a book

between hand and paw, overwhelms.

Perhaps the orphan prospers, goes to law school,

creates legislation for other orphans.

Perhaps the orphan gives a speech

thanking canines, forgetting his birth mother.

What am I saying? I'm no one's mother.

I'm alive, ears crusted, bathing my sores

in citrus pulp in a townhouse on the proper side

of town where we paper-train our puppies

in the kitchen and shoot hounds

howling at mopeds.

About the author:

Reb Livingston is the editor of No Tell Motel. She's co-editing (along with No Tell's contributing editor, Molly Arden) an anthology titled The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel scheduled to be released Fall 2005. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in MiPOesia, SOFTBLOW, Ducky, Unpleasant Event Schedule, Good Foot, and LIT. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, she lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and son.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 5, No. 2, where "When Dogs Rule" ran on August 4, 2005. List other work with these same labels: poetry, editors' select.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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