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Barking Boy

He thinks I don’t belong
in a perfect dog world,
so he tries to bark me out of existence
whenever I cross his mad and mangy vision.
The dog next door is crazy.

That he’s a black dog goes without saying.
A big black dog with venomous eyes
and a virulent tail
and ever-bristling hair;
with boisterous teeth
and twitching, threatening haunches
and a sinuous, sinister, slavering tongue.
If he has a soul, it’s lupine.

I’ve always tried to be a good dog neighbor.
You could even say, as dog neighbor’s go,
that I’m the best in show.
I’ve thrown him bones,
and sticks (but he is fetchless).
I’ve bought him toys and treats.
I’ve told him he’s a good dog,
lying through my teeth.
I took pains to not disturb him,
that time that he was feigning sleep.
I’ve ratted out squirrels to him.
I’ve even tried to whisper him.
But all to no avail.
The dog next door is crazy.

Ever tethered on the front lawn,
he sees me come and go,
and treats me like his whipping boy,
or, more properly, his barking boy.
Because, you know, he’s crazy.

I moved here, miles away once more, to
lose him, and find solace for my soul.
But now he’s there again.
How does that mad beast always find
me? How?

R.D. Ronstad writes mainly humor pieces and poetry. His work has appeared at Defenestration, The Big Jewel, Points in Case, Everyday Fiction, Scarlet Leaf Review and many other online sites. He lives with no dogs or cats but has nothing against them. A native Chicagoan, he currently lives in Phoenix, Az.