We put a dog dish in the backyard,
a big-dog bowl, not far from that dog’s grave.
Shady, we called her, a rescue,
chain cut from the crack house
where she was a guard dog –
sweetest tempered dog we ever had
except for that deeply ingrained,
defense response to anyone
appearing to be in police uniform
(here’s looking at you, FedEx).
Shade’s bowl is out there,
and the birds come in this dry season,
the ground hog humps his belly up
heavy with Louise’s vegetables
(something else stolen).
The fox kits are there, a deer,
once a wandering cat
(no birds for two days),
a runaway dog, the kits again.
It’s a simple thing –
turning a memory into kindness.
I live in a nation where much abundance
has come from stealing.
I guess it’s guilt
that makes us feel threatened
to share a bowl of water.