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Several times this year

a large untidy dog

followed me home

slinking into driveways and gardens


I thought that I’d lost him

but there he was again

nose to the ground

sniffing at some old scent


Until I clanged the gate shut

and left him outside

wretched, unwashed with a

pleading look in his eyes

that said everything


And I thought – how often

my past follows me

slinking behind wherever I go

my shaggy black misbehaviors,

things I should never have said or done


A past that sticks to my shoes somehow

like discarded gum or dog excrement

no matter how carefully I walk away

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© Johnmichael Simon



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