At first it is inconsequential and I pay it little attention.
Something more aroused than a whisper,
But much less defined than a whimper, a sound
In an embryonic state,
A decibel searching for identity.
My approach is casual, silent, but as soon as I
Touch the gate the sound is born,
Comes to life swelling like an organ in an
And I imagine that just around the corner there is
A rib cage rattling, a chest heaving, a larynx bulging.
From its bark alone I can tell the dog is big,
Instinctively I step back
As the shape of the sound rips up the yard, a big bull head,
Cropped ears and docked tail hurls itself at the gate.
In the stand-off that follows
It regurgitates old anger, regards me with contempt,
Openly mocking my cowardice.
Stares me down, issuing me with a challenge,
A challenge I simply cannot accept.