Literary Yard

Search for meaning


By: Robert S. King

gunman and dog

Among clouds of attacking crows
he spots the white bird and fires.
That will put it out of its misery, he says.
The bird dog waits below,
pointing downward as the dove falls.

The blue-collared dog wants only
a head pat and a biscuit for his labor.
He fetches the corpse, drops
it at his master’s feet, hoping for payment.

Doves and pigeons are only for practice.
Next time it’s pheasant for the plate.
The dog’s moral code is simply loyalty
and good breeding. The master, the higher animal,
has dominion, ownership, and debts:
dog, gun, family. But the sky is not the limit:
No trespassers allowed in his sky.

Standing like a god, the gunner rewards
his dog’s obedience. Like a monument,
the man casts a long shadow across the dead.


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