In his growl I heard the slapping
of his cords. Baring his canines
he barked with full throated defiance.
Sticks and stones didn’t deter him.
He chased away other dogs —
ran like a whirlwind.
Then, one day I heard in his growl
the gripes of an empty stomach
rasping of a parched tongue
staccato impatience of shallow breath.
I heard in his growl the contempt
for his life, of sleeping hungry
hiding in the hedge.
This morning he was dragged
to the municipal van
his neck caught in a metal trap
eyes popping out, limbs flailing.
I heard in his growl
the rattle of air leaving his chest.
By Uma Asopa
Copyright © – Dr Uma Asopa