Man’s Best Friend?
The dog’s nose touched the little boy’s.
Then, before his mother could stop him, a long,
Pink tongue reached out, licked the little boy right on the lips.
He giggled, stuck his own tongue back at that brown furry face,
At eyes softer than soil, kinder than a chapel, and
They saw each other – animal and man, dog and boy,
Friend and friend, until the child’s mother yelped,
Grabbed his hand away as though he’d just
Thrust it down a toilet.
‘Dirty creature,’ she spat.
The dog didn’t know it had done wrong;
It wagged its tail, relaxed its mouth in that soppy way
That you’d swear, swear was a smile.