Guard Dog

The pit-bull growls at passerbys
a warning shot to frighten them away.
He stands his ground as Master taught,
protecting property from would-be thieves
Nobody’s ever burglarized the house–
or any other in the neighborhood.
He stands his ground on the front lawn
with teeth to rip necks off men, women, children,
unleashed, caged only by a flimsy fence–
the only one in the neighborhood.

I used to walk my dogs each night,
but the neighborhood’s grown too dangerous.
That beast profiles everything passing by,
rattling the chains on his four-foot-tall cage.
He only barks now, but someday, he’ll bite
into the neck of the child who foolishly
plays basketball on these dangerous streets.
There’s a killer out there, trained to obey
a master with belongings coveted
by every black boy he sees in his dreams,
viciously pawing for his tube TV.

Critique

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