BARKING DOG, SUNDAY MORNING
That morning he awoke in a different bed.
A chair which had stood in the corner
Was changed overnight,
An ordinary chair, it used to be red.
Now it wasn’t.
Books, family photos, shoes,
Underwear, socks, old pants tossed
Over the chair, where were they.
It was a persistent howling
Roused him, but his dog was dead.
Not unusual to discover himself
Awakening in a stranger’s bed
On a Sunday morning.
He’d slept his way through
A warehouse of other people’s beds.
This howling dog was new.
Did it live in the room,
Whose room - what dog!
Lost in one of those moments
With memory slow in returning
He lay perfectly still, waiting.
Someone would be coming soon
Tapping at the door bringing coffe,
A kiss, then naked, slip in beside him.
The men entering did not offer morning coffee.
“You old coot, you pulled off your nightshirt again.
Now keep this on, OK? YOU HEAR ME? OK?
And stop that howling.”
They fussed, fluffed pillows, changed sheets,
Checked blood pressure, handed pills,
Left him lying there remembering another time,
A more pleasant time,
Of a kiss with morning coffee.
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