Dogs in Cars

Dogs locked in cars while their masters shop

are all reduced, their territory circumscribed

they feel they are abandoned, left powerless

their only weapon left to them their voice.


And so in Sobey’s parking lot the choir tunes its instruments

the low deep drone of Labradors, the poodle’s piccolo,

the Shepherd’s long low moan the mongrel’s crazy bark,

playing it by ear, while men in Parkas pack their trunks


with Pellegrino water, pomegranates and grapefruits, 

oranges and T-bone steaks, toilet paper, plastic wrap,

cookies and pasta, sausages and yogurt, bread and oatmeal

and those things you eat with ice-cream, wafers, I believe.


Some day I’d like to cruise the parking lot,

setting the captives free and doling doggie treats

while they got down to serious business, sniffing

each other’s calling cards, and making dates for later in the week.


But that would never do. The day of freedom-loving dogs has passed

and these dogs wouldn’t leave their cars without their leashes.

Their grocery-toting masters, free men choosing what they spend

will later find that they are tethered at the other end.

“CV2 has been an important part of my publishing experience. Much of my work, both prose and poetry, was originally published in CV2 magazine, and I am always grateful for its support.”

— David Arnason