The Dog Catcher's Funeral
by James Wackett

    His casket is a large silver steel box,
    simple and sleek, secure as a submarine,
    strong enough to not be dented if dropped.
    It sits atop a huge wooden platform

    as the mourners file in--the long-retired
    milkman, the older and younger postmen,
    the cop who still walks the proverbial
    beat.  Then the dogs pad softly in--the ones

    who were never caught--those sleek, dirty runners,
    who have tunneled and tramped for the knowledge
    it bought, who are defined, by opposition,
    by the man within the box.  They sit solemnly

    in the back, chins up, paws crossed, listening
    as the milkman delivers his eulogy,
    praising the deceased's diligence, his resolve
    to never compromise his job.  The dogs

    nod in agreement--these are qualities
    they admire and respect, having found
    and buried so many bones, that others,
    they hope, will later dig up.  They remember

    the times they were almost caught, his tight net--
    its threads so thin but secure as a house--
    just glancing off of their ears as they sensed
    its descent--barely avoiding, once again,

    the catcher's grey hands.  As the service ends
    the milk-post-and-policemen carry out
    the coffin, the dogs yowling in unison--
    a howl for, and against, the dog catcher's rest.






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