(6-26-1980 / othello)

The Kennel

three thousand dogs caged
dance and do tricks for the guards
and 5 times a day they are locked down
in classification,
and twice in general population
some of the dogs ordain themselves
with tatoos and crazy long hair
slit and braided or hanging
spiked or shaved,
the ones most accustomed to the cage
do the most tricks and laugh the most
while I lie quietly in my cell
I'm riding a mountain bike
down a familiar trail
the smell of pine, barkdust and river
bite my senses and I continue to lie

in front of the judge, twelve of us
are locked in a broom closet.
we take turns,
fatty is happy he's getting 20 years,
instead of 140 he was looking at
and as I await my turn
my armpits fill with sweat, staining
my orange shirt,
as words spew from the judge,
one year one day,
$100,000 bail,
omnibus corpus,
nine felonies,
finally my turn comes,
and I hear
gleefull elation passes uncontrollably
over my face
I tried to hide it from the other 11
but can't and I jest with the man
who fingerbanged a drunk
chick in his bed (allegedly)
he introduces himself and
awkwardly we try to shake hands
on the padded bus
with a radio.
upon the return to our cages
the other dogs move to their
respective blocks willingly
to bed down for many more days and nights
I however am OR'd
and I pack up my furs
leaving lotion, deodorant
and writing paper with the other dogs
in my kennel,
specifically to those
afraid and unhappy
in the kennel.

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Comments (1)

I was a little confused at first, but quickly caught on to the true meaning as I read more. I love the analogy and the telling makes it sound like a prior experience. Let's hope this leaves one less dog to visit the kennel, though.