Uproar of laugher
On a mountain top
Is prosaic in its pomposity
I am glued to the cage with a dog inside
I do not like anything caged
The dog compresses himself
Against his side of the fence
It tries to find my hand or my face
I try to reach his fur through the cage
The laughter continues in gurgles of glee
Not sure what they are mocking
My ‘middle school’ empathy
At almost forty, I admit, is riotous
And yet I think they are rotten.
Laugher by now has grown from roar
to something bombastic
Part of me hopes that in their spastics
Some of them fall from this mountain.
While the dog and I remain enraged.
Each in our own way.
I turn to the owners of so-called resort
“When do you let it out?”
Fighting back tears,
“When do you let him out?”
Barely upright from laughter
Fighting back their own tears
Frenzied in their pleasure of friends and this escape
So far away from home
“Please don’t let this beast out until we are on our way out
and he can be out alone”
One of the owners of this resort
Rubs my shoulders in a manner
That I imagine only a close relative would
I can’t reconcile her borderless warmth
Her host’s embrace and her kind face
With this dog and his lot.
She asks me if I liked dinner
and assures me that the dog is here
Strictly to protect the resort and safety of all guests.
And, yes, of course they love him very much.
(For a moment I wonder if some of the laughter
Is to conceal the shame for my post dinner manners)
I never thanked anyone for the view, the food or the company of this crew
Who are, yes, still, laughing.
And again, they ask the owners to postpone the answer
As to when and if they let the dog out of his cage.
Until we are gone.
Anger aside, I have to join them. Dinner is over
And so is this vacation.
I look at the “beast” again.
He is sliding down the cage with his entire back against
The part of the enclosure that is closest to me
By now it is dark on the mountain
So I can only see his shape and hear his barely audible wailing
And that is it for our interaction.
My laughing companions
Escort me to the car
The dog trades his quiet howling for thunderous barking
It echoes through the mountain
And suddenly the idea that he will keep sitting here
in six by four cage
as I drive down with an open window
is too much to bear
I slide down my seat and convulse from hopelessness and fear.
Suddenly the laugher ceases.
And in its place comes uncomfortable silence-
Why do you always ruin everything?