Originally published in Voiceworks Issue #120: Divine
I will come early
to walk your dogs for you—
who need to be walked separately for now.
Not because they’re dangerous,
but they each need someone to protect them
in case they are attacked again.
You will open the door,
your finger hooked under
the young one’s collar,
telling me: ‘look how happy she is to see you.’
I will pat her once she sits,
but think she must associate me
with going outside.
I will take each dog as far
as I have time for
or until I’m out of plastic bags.
Sometimes I will get frustrated
when they sniff too much,
but will always stop to lift a paw
when the leash
under one of their front legs.
When I’m back
and have the older dog unclipped
we will sit, worried that he limps.
I will let you drive me home
if the weather’s bad.
As I leave you will say ‘thanks’
or ‘I love you’
and I will almost forget
what time tomorrow
I will do the walks.
Everyone who contributes to Voiceworks works really hard to get into it, including the person who made the cover I've shared here. It means a lot for you to have a copy.