He Didn’t Bite, NaPoWriMo

He was tame, if truth be told-
a curtain twitching kind of fool-hearted
guard dog making studies of how the others
made their way through the humdrum.
He was sturdy in routine, if not stature-
nose in the paper after the Six O’clock news
on the far edge of the sofa every night,
inside-out sweaters on a Saturday
and passing round the basket
in the chapel on a Sunday-
altar boy breeding still beaten into his being
like the scars he wore on his shoulders
of all the things he could no longer put down.
From afar, you could see how fear
had opened itself up within his frame
like a cushion forced to house too much foam
and the stitches strain from the stuffing.
He was tame, of course, but at the time,
I was cautious of his bite.

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