Industrial Strays

A stray dog
came trotting
into the terminal gate.

He began sniffing the air
and made a bee line
right for me.
Probably smelled my
lovable dumb pit bull
on me.

I braced,
reaching into my bag.

As he got closer,
I looked into his
piercing blue eyes.
He was part coyote
or something,
given his tail…
not a normal dog.
Not at all.

I pulled out my knife,
but goddamn if he
didn’t look really happy
and nice…

He sniffed all around
my legs and
when I put out my hand,
he licked it.

A couple dock workers
came over.
“Grab a shovel,
let’s take this fucker out.”

I was just about to
when he cracked a grin
while looking at the dog
sniff my shoes.
He said he was friendly,
and looked hungry as hell.

We all went to our bags
and grabbed food.
He ate all of it.

We cut
the ratty collar
from around his neck.

He stayed at my side
until I had to leave,
inspecting my truck
with me.

Shovel joke guy sighed.
“Fuck it.
Let’s keep him
in the yard today,
and I’m taking him home
with me.”

I pet him
one last time.
You lucked out, man.
No more struggle.

We were all a couple checks
away from his position
our damn selves.
We got it.

-GD Butler

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