I am three.
I was spanked for some reason
so I crawl into the dog bed
with Smokey, our labrador retriever.
He is kind to me, concerned. I sob into his fur,
he licks me. His bed is a pile of small rugs
on the kitchen floor,
I crawl between his legs and lay in his embrace.
They don’t bother me there.
Smokey doesn’t like other dogs.
When we move to Cassville
he gets in a fight
He kills or injures another dog.
My parents tell me
“We took him to a farm where he won’t fight
with other dogs”
For years I beg to visit him.
They say we can’t.
About five years later I’m playing dolls
with my friend Sandy. We’re about ten.
I say I want to visit Smokey.
She says, “My parents said your parents
put him to sleep.”
I confront my parents when I go home.
They can’t believe I’m still thinking about him.