A bloke is leaning on the bar

His best mate isn’t with him.
No one is saying Dead
because dogs never truly leave this pub.
Not one pork pie has been eaten today
without remembering the night
that golden boy retrieved six for himself
from the fridge when no one was looking.
The sound of his claws tap dancing on floorboards
are in all of our ears when new pups strut in.
The silence of the water bowl
is louder than a bark at a New Year’s firework.
The bloke is letting people ask him how he’s doing.
He nods, the ghost of a lead tugging
him towards more than OK, thanks.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

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