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Respect

“What of the ox that loves his yoke and deems the elk and deer of the forest stray and vagrant things?
  What of the old serpent who cannot shed his skin, and calls all others naked and shameless?”
    ~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (1923)

With what attitude shall I recall
How with my own hand
I chained the black furry creature on the patio
Each morning on my way to school
The piles on concrete a testament to prior mornings
When as now he’d run back and forth making noise
While everyone was out
Much as the surrounding newly-branded suburban hayseeds
May’ve been annoyed
I just did as I was told

With what feeling shall I describe
How with my own hand
I fastened the shock collar around his scruffy neck
Each morning after the complaints rolling in
Started sounding serious
As safe and effective as the manual claimed
The noise changed
A bark turned to a squeal
Over and over
Until the 9V cell was all discharged
At which time I was handed another to install

With what contrition shall I reflect
How with my own hand
I carried that small ring studded
With its pair of electrodes
To a place high in the basement
I could just reach
Behind ham cans full of fasteners
And other assorted hardware left
From days that may’ve been constructive
Where it could remain hidden for years
For all I’d know
Now that I was taller and more agile than those
By whom I hadn’t been told to not make things disappear

Thanks always returns

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