Thursday, 18 February 2021



by Rachel Fenton

A German Shepherd has his head 
and front paws in your hutch, 
lifted off the lid 
to climb in and almost has you. 
I had woken from a dream;  
thought I’d heard someone 
knocking the fence in. 
Outside the bedroom window,  
the dog stares when I scream 
‘Oh,’ as if I’ve discovered my baby 
dead in my uterus. Gormless, 
until I add, ‘Out, out, out,’ 
and run to the back door, 
chase wolf away from rabbit  
skin. My bark 
is worse than my bite. 
I shout for its owners 
to keep their dog under control 
and carry you, close 
to my chest, to the fence 
to tell them what their dog  
has almost done. But they stare 
blankly then the mother says, 
‘He hardly ever gets out.’ 

* * * * *

Rachel J Fenton is a working-class writer living in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her chapbook Beerstorming with Charlotte Bronte in New York is forthcoming from Ethel Press in April 2021.

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