Unwelcome Visitor

Before this moment, it was just a stray
that dug its way under the backyard fence.
“Scat! You filthy cur, you nasty
dirty, sneaky, smelly, good-for-nothing
beast! Begone!” blared the flowered hat
bobbing above a whale-boned bosom.
“My stars and garters! My begonia bed!”
sounded in operatic tones, white outraged
arms waving madly above a cowering,
muddy mass of burrs and matted fur.
“Shoo!” It slunk into the alley with one long,
lingering backward look. “Stay away!”
And “You again! Shoo!” next morning;
the panting face flipped, whole body
splayed across Sarabell Simms’s
second-best shoes, belly-up. “Away!
You ugly, unsanitary heap of stink,
you collection of rickety skin and bones!”
On the third day: “I wouldn’t touch you
to save my eternal soul, you old
disease-ridden, moth-eaten, rat-nosed,
long-eared mongrel! I’ll fetch Daddy’s gun!
I swear I shall!” No one knows how long
the siege went on, or how the war was won,
but the town’s meanest woman
is never seen these days
without a leather leash
and “my darling Ariadne.”


Inspired by prompts from GoDogGo and dVerse and based on characters in my novel “Prickly Pear Lemonade.”


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