My Guardian

Lolita, Karenís black and white spotted dog
slept in bed with me last night.
Iím a houseguest,
and Lolita, Lola for short, jumped high onto the bed

where sheís never allowed to be, covering the quilt,
that covered me in the dark Portland room.
I opened my eyes, there she was, her nose pointed

at mine and half awake I thought I was a dog, too,
part of her pack, her daughter or sister from another litter.
I hunched into a ball
so we could be the same shape, together

in our den, was honored that Lola chose to sleep next to me.
Karenís other dogs, gorgeous Great Pyrenees, not herders
but guardians,
were holed-up with Karen, while Lola, a mutt,
was looking out for me

as cool fall breezes shimmied
through the cracks of the window, leaves on the trees
turned orange through the night, as a trail of dusty

clouds obscured the traveling moon, we slept
our dreams spilling over
into the other

Lola entered a long room, humans dressed
in evening clothes, their tall backs against the wall, offering
her pearls and steak, while I was locked

inside a crate,
my paw stuck in the black wires, my tongue hanging out, hoping
for the sort of kindness an animal may find.


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