Gaurdians

               Stray Dogs

                 The dogs in our neighborhood
                 Take very seriously their jobs.
                 Perhaps it is because there seems
                 To be so few of them in Guayaquil.

                  We rarely see them in the daytime,
                  And only hear them as we lie in bed,
                  On nights when our minds are over active,
                  Wishing for the sweet refreshment of sound sleep.
                  Then it seems the chorus begins.

                  Woof, woof!
                  Oooo, oooo!
                  Arf, arf, arf!
                  Rrrrr, rrrr!
                  Owoo, Owoo, Owoo!
                  Close and distant they holler.

                  I wonder,   “Are they talking to each other?
                  Is a rat running across their patio?
                  Perhaps a cat slurks along the top of a nearby wall?
                  Has a well known thief entered the garden?
                  Is some old dog ill?
                  Has there been a death in the community?
                  Did their retirement fund collapse?
                  Or are they debating some compelling political question?” 

                  At last their conversation ceases.
                  Perhaps the danger passes,
                  Possibly their pain or sorrow is soothed,
                  Perchance a truce or concession comes to pass.
                  At last night-quiet peace reigns supreme once more. 

                  We remain awake, alas awake,
                  Quiet, yet awake,
                  Musing over all the possibilities.

                                                                                      Cerita M. Hewett
                                                                                      April 29, 2009
                                                                                      (revised 2014)

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