The Golden Dog

The house three doors up hill had a lab,

The golden kind who lived, and I feared guarded

At their front door, under the carport.

And fearless Joe, who loved the Marines and wanted

Desperately to join them after high school,

Got bit in his trigger arm when he reached to pet the lab.

Which later seemed a dark omen for his dreams

In our years of innocence, before Khe Son and Hue

When everything seemed possible.

When all life was a door you could knock at

And they would let you in, if only you dared

Reach out to the golden dog.

 © Philip Knight 2018