It’s black at first, from a distance, almost ursine
Hugging the side of the dusty two-track unafraid
Of vehicle wheels, close-up it sprouts the telemetry
Of Mork and Mindy’s Orkian shepherd, or a canid
Returned from space touring, for sure it is
Pooped, dog tired, panting, eyes pleading.
I splash water in my hand and it licks the offering once
I fill a Cool Whip basin from clear plastic bottles,
Place it between the dog’s paws and let it drink
To Saint Sate, it is black and brown, with spots beneath,
A tiger cat in dog’s clothing, antennae and collars
Declaring bear hound, we have heard them on a chase
For hours and this boy is spent and resigned
To the roadside until his ride comes,
The way we were as freshman at grassers
Spent on raucous rock and roll, women and beer,
Baying like hungry hounds over camp pyres
Swatting skeets and smoke from our eyes,
Drunk, sated, without wheels, out by rivers,
Waiting for rides back to a campus forty miles off.
Comes the houndsman in his pickup, I wave
Over to ask if he might’ve lost a dog
“Yah, going to get it now.”
It, not him, the telemetry fits, the dog nothing
More than a carrier of technology for
Easy killing, a four-legged proto-drone.
Wired for deadly business in a deep swamp
It, indeed, the word leaves a sour taste all the rest of the day.