The Stray Dog

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