Gordon Challis


Walking an imaginary dog

You have to do this where I live —
the caravan park does not allow real ones.
Every morning
I slip out before too many people are around
dragging the dog at first
finding any spare power points
available to charge him up;
those with caravans already there
he pisses on
discharging an electrolytic urine
which strips the paint.
Then we try
outside the park: the sandflats of the creek,
the oyster-bladed rocks, the mangroves’
many attempts to start out again for heaven.

He sniffs heaven
in onion smells before the steak goes on
and makes no judgement whether breakfast
is the right time.

I go behind him holding the leash
gently though not letting him
surge too far foraging ahead
not too far down my road.
To passers-by I would appear
a blind man trusting my hand
to scan for obstacles or
reaching out to touch the small face of a child.


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Author’s Note


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