J e n n i f e r   M a r t e l l i

 

Dog Days

 

The land curves cracked and brown as an old urn. 

One flat-topped squat tree still grows stubbornly. 

 

The tree is high enough for the young girl 

to dangle from a noose. She could be a wooden wind chime 

 

if there were a breeze, she’s that thin and hollow. 

Hungry, she had confused food for love and approached the king: 

 

He threw his shoe at her face. Her dog stays with her. 

Under her bare feet, he crouches, maybe hoping for shade, 

 

maybe confusing hunger for loyalty. No one will ever know 

her name, but the dog 

 

will be strung with stars in the summer sky