By day he is a smudge on the pavement
outside M and S. This black, three legged dog shares
a space with the homeless man who leans against
the wall. always a gap between them, the dog,
with gnarled joints and filthy fur
refuses the blanket the man lays out for him.
Prefers, it seems, to own the slab.
At dusk the man packs his bags and moves
to the graveyard behind the tower. His grey head
bobs like the moon and the dog hops behind him,
a dark cloud, untethered
yet held by a thread of light. Strangers will whisper
of a hound glimpsed in the churchyard’s dark crevices,
imagining Black Shuck, or some such demon cur.
But the dog and his man sleep in soft green
between the graves, eased perhaps by grassy arias,
spectral fingers of ground elder and scents of wild garlic
whilst locals turn a blind eye on their church grim
and the man who lives beside him.
Annie Cowell lives by the sea in Cyprus with her husband and rescue dogs. She has work published or forthcoming in Popshot Quarterly, Paddler Press, NewVerseNews and others. @anniecowell3
image: MM Kaufman