The Doggy Diner

As Mrs. Arden beamed and steered
me toward her house across the garden
a dog — white, furry, huge — appeared,
eyeing me and Mrs. Arden.
As we walked in, the Great Pyrenees —
dirt stuck to fur, long strings of drool
dangling from lips — this carnivore
followed me in and ate the cheese
and rusks on the table straight away.
He then traipsed round in search of more
hors d’oeuvres but found dessert — the fool
(fruit and custard) — the soufflé
and the remainder of our meal;
then jumped up on an easy chair,
circled, settled, and closed his eyes.
“That dog’s got a wolfish appetite!”
I said. But all she did was glare.
Though I tried hard to be polite,
she never smiled. Her eyes were steel.
While the dog was sleeping like a lamb
we simply sat, had nothing to say.
As I dropped my napkin, about to rise,
she said, “Please, take your dog, okay?”
Mine? I thought he was your dog, ma’am.”
And then she laughed, and all was fine —
until he went and drank the wine.


(Appeared in Light.)