Backward-man loves his dog.
Ties him up before and after
His walks, likes to goad his pet
Too, speaking as the weather wails
And howls then dog looks down,
Sad on his master dumbfounded.
A chain is worn as it scrapes
The ground connecting dog
To his master. They both love
The sound of it hissing as it strikes
The concrete pathways, sometimes
Man and dog feel free, not a part
Of each other, the chain may break,
And fear is for forks in the road,
The rusty pockmarked grip of his links
Have always been there on walks
Ahead and behind though it makes
Things confusing as if in a dance
And sometimes they wonder which way
They might end up after all—
And when the dark and golden
Rope, as always, is finally tied
To some old fruit tree, the man
Is happy his dog has both sun
And shade, but also has joy watching
Dog beg for ripe apples he cannot
Reach. Some people might come
To think that dog thinks those apples
Are not for eating. Everyone loves
Fruit, don't they?
Backward-man built his dog
A house as cold as a three-
Storied barn, out of things
He could not afford, things much
Too good for dog to not care
About, maybe man built dog's
House for himself, he cannot
Really impress his dog.
Backward-man likes to think
He knows what dog is saying.
Barks and whimpers have deep
Meanings, 'world is a good place,'
Dog says, but when pooch says,
'World is cruel,' crying, disobedient
Whines gets him a serious kick
Out of old anger from backward-
Man. And man can be a hell-
Hound on his own, the way
He twists and unravels the things
He needs, like truth and food
And love— that goes without
Saying for backward-man hates
His woman, but loves his dog.