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Unlike those of us whose curse is to live

in interesting times, those who walk dogs

is to have their pampered pooch revert

to the wilderness and find body parts –

as there on the shore on the bonny loch

at Christmastide, just at the point

where the road turns sharp right from the shore

and up the bank, where Rob Roy drove the kine

he had ‘stolen’, the geological fault line

where lowland and highland meet, the frontier

of so much English sponsored butchery.


In the 3 star hotel with its wall-to-wall

tartan carpet, we spoke of little else

over yuletide lunch and buffet supper.

What dog? What owner? What parts? What killer?

On Boxing Day storms came, trees fell, guests left.


At home, in the south, we saw the bulletin –

a lad on a Christmas Eve piss-up,

seduced, dismembered, broadcast to the waters –

and wondered as so often before

what species we belong to. And thought

of the anonymous dog walker

alive to all that impartial beauty –

the stillness of the ancient pinewoods,

the snow on the mountains reflected in the lake

in that troubled, emptied land – calling the pet

gnawing at the pebbles.





© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • Mary Clark
    December 30, 2016

    It is like a geological fault between high and low, isn’t it? The line where people break, and break apart from their best humanity into homicidal beasts. I guess we walk closer to that line than we realize, or like to think, and thanks to occasional amble off the beaten path, we are faced with that truth. In our area of Southwest Virginia, just last week, two fishermen discovered a woman’s body by a river.

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