Sleeping Dogs

back when T. V. was black and
white. test patterns–
still frame westerns of
Tonto profiled on a target.
back when Ol’ Yeller died
every time, never changed.
Saturday afternoons,
Lassie came home to
lick Timmy’s face,
it didn’t matter.

Saturday afternoons
young boys cried…
before Nam when Combat
made us backyard
killing krauts.
red-faced boys
behind evergreens,
“You’re dead”.
am not.

back when Aunt Bea
made cherry cobbler
and Pa took Opie
fishin’ at Miller’s
Lake; skipping
rocks that rippled
out to sleeping
dogs on Saturday
when young boys
wiped tears before
dads could see.

5 Responses to Sleeping Dogs

  1. paisley says:

    that was wonderful… so full of memories and moments of innocence… wonderful….

  2. Vincent says:

    Evocative of stuff I never knew because it was part of a place (America) and not just a time. So to me it is more about the world of movies than of life; even though the bang-bang you’re dead evoked something from my life – when the baddies were obviously Germans because this was England of the late Forties and I understood about the War though had missed it in Australia. And I learned about cowboys and Indians through play before seeing a movie of any kind. I never understood why Indians were the enemy. (Buffalo Bill Cody had toured Europe in the nineteenth century before the invention of the cinematograph so all this was an acquired part of our culture even though it referred to a foreign land like the Old and New Testaments.)

    It is good to convey so much in so few words.

  3. johemmant says:

    Yes, this reminds me of my own childhood, my brother and his mates playing wwII, these days my kids never fight wars, they are transformers or batman or somesuch, superpowered, not even a game of cowboys and indians.

    I really loved the last stanza, it says so much then pulls up so fast, so short, just like the boys, brilliant. A friend of mine died in my last year at school, we were 17, and my best friend, a guy, was given a ballocking from his father for crying over this death, told it was unmanly, I’ve never forgotten that. Anyway, sorry, hijack comment, sign of a good poem 🙂 And I’m very glad to see you here, I do hope this means you’ve reconsidered, there are too few good ones to up and leave (or is that the point? grin)

  4. Paul says:

    Beautiful unraveling memory poem, rolls back in time and fades out with sweet sadness,

  5. JO says:

    This is so wonderful on a couple different levels–it’s a wonderful walk down memory lane but also stands alone as testament to a better time.

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