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A Man of a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

Barking (Poem)

As I walked with my dog on the common,
Another dog rushed up and barked.
His owner called: 'Come back here, Benji,
We must go back to where we are parked.

‘You mustn’t keep barking at strangers
Or I’ll leave you here all on your own.
And if you don’t come back on calling,
You will not be getting a bone.’

The creature’s command of the language
Must have surely been second to none,
And my mind drifted back to that crossword -
The one with one clue left undone.

I bent down to stroke him and posed him
The clue which had caused such vexation:
‘An onomatopoeic expression
For canine vocalisation’.

You could see that the task was beneath him,
Eyes disparaging, rolling aloof.
But he swallowed his pride to assist me,
Condescendingly answering: ‘Woof’.