After Running Over the Neighbor’s Dog

by Fred Longworth
Wild Poetry Forum
Honorable Mention, June 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson


Honda really needs to design their windshields better.
This sedan ought to be called The Glaucoma.
And who issued passports to the streetlamps?
As for the moon, it should be brought in for questioning.
See how it gathers with the clouds above a dark alley.
This is a perfect example of a conspiracy.
My glasses look a lot like yours, except that mine
were stolen from my nose and ears, and stuffed
behind the sofa cushion.

The sidewalk is far too narrow. Check out that ant.
It has one row of legs over the curb
and the other three grazing the pyracanthas.
Mojo had no choice but asphalt.
Besides, Mr. Rayburn always parks his giant pickup
right where the roadway curves. It’s him
that should pay for the funeral.
People say that mutts like to lie around and sleep,
but I’m convinced that some dogs need to take Ritalin.

The law declares that when they’re outside,
they’re supposed to be leashed or yarded.
My neighbor should be charged with a misdemeanor,
and Mojo cited for jaywalking.
I’m told he wasn’t neutered. Thank me for all
the stray pups that won’t need to be euthanized.
Too fast? You say I was driving too fast?
You’re the one who’s always late, always making
excuses.


This is witty and well-considered – the poet really goes into all the possibilities within the riff, opening out the idea like an unpacked tent. I especially like the ease of diction – “Check out that ant”. Nothing strained or studious. And then a real bit of emotional reportage at the end. Yes: that’s so like a real relationship! --Fiona Sampson

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