Monday, November 7, 2016

"The Dogs Slip Out Again" by Tricia Knoll, Frequent Contributor

The Dogs Slip Out Again
Tricia Knoll

That black and white TV, police dogs,
night sticks, and fire hoses. 1963.
Birmingham terrified this child viewer.

Now with the remote in my hand,
in full-color black dogs pull
on leashes held by corporate security.

Up the chain of command someone cried
havoc at the oil fields. Let loose
corporate dogs to draw blood

for black oil money. Scare
the people with treaty rights.
Tell them oil drives, not ancient bones,

nor sacred waters, nor wind prayers.
Only rights of passage
of petroleum.

Handlers ignore the bones
dogs might understand.
People stand up, hope

never to be bitten again.
The tanks and riot gear
were never far behind.  

Poet’s Notes: I'd be there if I were younger. The images of the dogs snarling on the handlers’ leashes still scare me. I feel for the brave people who come in peace to protect their ancestral lands against the corporate behemoth of oil. Not only the wind brings tears to my eyes. 

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