November 14th, 2008

poetry, exceptindreams

339: The Days Dogs Die

“The Days Dogs Die”
Paul Vermeersch

The days dogs die are usually good days
for barbecues, nice sunny days, perfect
for eating watermelon and dangling
your feet over the sides of things,

those days the asphalt gets a little
sticky from the heat, and voices
carry clearly down the avenue,
kids you don't know the names of-

one girl you caught wasps with last summer.
Pretty one, what was her name again? Erin?
You set a jar full of yellow jackets in the sun
thinking they were bees, that they'd make honey,

but instead you both watched as they fell
lifeless to the bottom, turning black,
the day her father's green Reliant swerved
by the park gates at dusk, and your miniature

poodle a shadow in the shadow of the car.
It took six of your sister's friends to hold you
down on the porch, to keep you from running
to the road, to see the carcass, or even to save her-

whatever it was you were trying to do.