Sonnet #87

Dog’s don’t need to be told to fear the stranger
It’s bred into their bones from centuries of work
Leaning at the edge of light, sniffing out for danger
Once upon a time, communities were small and dark
Everyone would know everybody, the dogs would know
When the new came in from roads, the growl
at throats, the bark and warning snaps, the show
How if worse came, the bite the snarl the howl
Geese were like this, too. They guarded Rome
They honked and bit the raiders off the walls
Our cities are so big, now. It’s easier to be alone
the bigger the city is. There is no anonymity
in little towns, where all the dogs know who’s who
To be alone is to fear the stranger, to think the city
after dark is full of spiders, young lions running through
It’s easy to be afraid in big cities, to howl and bite
Once here, animal fear is hard to stop, make right.

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