Big white dog lies lonely in corner of yard
black fence cutting him off from passersby,
rabbits, squirrels, neighborhood dogs.
Owner buys him stuffed toys, poor
substitute for cooing and caressing,
for walking and brushing, for throwing
him a ball, a stick or a bone.
Large lonely dog, head down
between paws, brightens at the sound
of a passing car, then slumps—
a white heap near a gate that never opens.
Erna Kelly has lived and taught in Wisconsin a good part of her life. She is the co-editor of the 2020 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar. You can read her poems in journals such as the Aurorean, Bramble, Halfway Down the Stairs, Verse Wisconsin, and in anthologies such as Ariel and Soundings.