His bark, a baby’s crying

Left alone

On the flattened grass


My truck arriving home

To him, a hum, a pulse

The heartbeat of milk


He knows those gears,

Charging resistance

against my silence.


Backyard sprawling,

Cool, inviting nest, yet

a lonely lead-rope to him.


Twig fragment corn flakes,

torn leaves like high-chair oatmeal,

anxious salad of debris.


No space beyond his tail.

Pulled taught

Like the generous rope


Now his yelping hammered

higher octaves echoing

inside my guilt,


As I selfishly craved solitude

failing to examine

My own idea of freedom.