The Island Dog
by Tricia McCallum

He is everyone’s,
Yet he is no one’s.
Vacationers arrive, discover him,
dote on him for two weeks,
then disappear.

He is their holiday project,
a story they’ll tell over dinner at home.
Some allow him in, to sleep at the foot of their beds,
to guard their front door,
Some even toy with the idea of a rescue,
Could we, should we? Shots? Papers?
Questions asked
with the exuberance of the relaxed and the happy,
but as the time to leave draws near,
reality encroaches, the idea stalls.

A new band takes their place.
The island dog waits,
knowing it will take only one,
one, to give him a name that won’t change,
one, to call it out in the dark
should he wander too far.
one, to call to him
and him alone:
Come home.

A Glasgow-born Canadian, Tricia McCallum is the author of a sequence of poems, essays and photos entitled “Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Mother and Father Remembered.”(2011). Her poems “Thirst” and “There’s Always the Guy” were chosen by readers at goodreads.com as the winners of the poetry competition in December, 2011, and in May, 2012. Two of her poems, “Following Seas” and “The Gift of Donovan,” appeared in the first issue of the quarterly poetry e-zine called IMPpress.

Tricia invites you to read more of her work at www.triciamccallum.com

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