She saw him from the kitchen window
before he saw her. He was driving
a strange car and a dog was on the passenger seat.
They leapt from the driver’s side and came to the house.
“Hey Mom” he beamed, “got any coffee?
I’m tired and thirsty.”
He got a cereal bowl from the cupboard,
filled it with water, and set it on the floor
for the dog, a large white German Shepherd
whose long tail dusted the orange linoleum.
He drank noisily.
“Who’s car is that? And get that damn dog
out of here,” she said turning from the sink.
He sat at the kitchen table and offered an explanation.
“The car belongs to a friend of mine. You don’t know him.
I had to borrow a car to bring Crazy Horse along for I need to
leave him here for a while. I’ve got the urge again to wander,
to look for work in another state since
I’m not making any money here.” A laugh originated from his belly.
“He’ll be here for just a little while, until I get back
on my feet. He’ll be a guard dog for you and Dad.
He’ll keep you safe while I go off in search of fame
and fortune,” he laughed once again.
She took a doubtful step, then undid it.
“Hhrumph,” she mumbled, her thin lips
in a grimace, her eyes dark, moody, perplexed.
“Well, take him out there and tie him up
under that sycamore tree down by the stream.
And fill up that big bucket with water.”
“Come on, Crazy Horse. You heard what the woman said.”
She watched the two of them walk down to the bottom
of the hill, her son whistling a tune, where he tied up
the big dog with the rusty chain left
over from the previous dog that died –
from a gunshot wound to its head,
simply for breaking his bonds
and straying from the farm
a few times too many.