Wild things

by Pam Newham

Their dogs’ eyes are blue,
so glorious it’s hard to look away.
They never bark but when left alone
they howl, an unsettling sound
that speaks of long nights,
chilled winds chasing
across the tundra,
and a sadness beyond enduring.

Their children are home-schooled
and play outside more than most.
Sometimes you hear their voices
in the garden when it’s quite late.
Their father makes tepees out of bamboo
and their mother sews exotic clothes
to sell at the market.
She ties her dark hair in gypsy scarves.
I am fascinated by their otherness.

Then one day I saw
those dogs being taken for a walk
by the local dog walker,
trotting along on leads,
their tails waving.
I felt rather let down.
I don’t want those dogs to be
the same as all the others.
I don’t want my new neighbours
to be like the woman
they sometimes see
washing dishes,
making tea.

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