Nevada Dog Medicine

With the hill as steep as the nights were dark,
I could usually count on a fair amount
of stumbling and cursing before finding a spot
that would not quickly send me
back to the bottom
and when, every night,
the dog,
bigger and blacker than
any I had ever seen
and looking as if he had borne
every blow
from every man
and every beast
on every inch of his solid, dumb face
would come sniffing up from the junkyard
that lay at the base of the hill,
find me and cover me
with the dirt of another hole
dug with steady, giant earnestness,
heave a mournful sigh
and settle his massive body across my legs
the better to gaze upon my face,
I would tell myself
dog medicine
is better than no medicine
and look into his eyes.

by Matt Dennison

Published in: Olympia Review
© 1994, Olympia, WA.

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