Sunday, April 26, 2009

Just under the wire

Writer's Digest prompt: a miscommunication or misunderstanding of some kind.

This is a first draft.

Mother Tongue

His head tilts as he watches her mouth.
Tad. Tad. It’s the sound she makes, the shape
her lips make, when there is food, or bone,
or cuddling. But she is wrinkly like
the shar-pei at the dog park, and there is no
come here, Tad, just this sagging sack
of a face. He lifts one ear, because it always
brings smiles and treats, but she isn’t even looking.
Is there another Tad? He runs to the door,
but there is no canine whiff, not even the
ringing of keys and the oily smell of the man,
her mate. His stomach feels rumbly.

In his new home, when the children say,
“His old master is dead,” he learns
another word, and he wonders
why the name for sorrow
is just a whisker’s breadth
from his own name.

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