A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Dogs in the dog park, fighting pretty nice
until someone unleashes their alpha,
and the humans rush in to do the rough equivalent
of calling their elected representatives,
pulling their furbabies apart from the core of the fur-fight
where they’re only their teeth now,
jaws meeting like a single blossoming flower,
spikes in the grips of the nasty, brutish, short
life they left behind for our couches.
Most times, it is settled, though I’ve seen humans
start their own fights, by contagion or the tension
from the just-ended dog fight.
That’s when someone calls the cops.
In this scenario, for scale, the cops are the Supreme Court,
vestry of superior souls, the American equivalent
of the Bodhisattva. Is that the problem right there,
that we elevate the law and its agents
to the point where our jaws drop
when they appear human, just like us,
with paws and pointed teeth,
loyalty and jealousy, a desperate
dependence on a regulated life?
Copyright 2018 Ellen McGrath Smith