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bone-fable by Rg Gregory
one morning the bone was there
set in the centre of waste ground
against the early morning sun
the frost along its concave rim
sparkled - raised a hundredfold
the price a passing dog
would place on it
but the dogs
who came (barking amongst themselves
about the food shining at them
across the rubbled soil) somehow
couldn't find it in their legs
to fetch the bone - its glowing
had a phosphorescent feel
a beauty that repelled
the simple possibilities of eating

so it went on all day
the bone stayed cold - the frost
around it sparkled and the dogs
came and went returning then
with other dogs
the concourse
disturbed the neighbourhood
with excitement and unease

when the night came
there was no moon
no light to catch the frost

dogs began to venture
through the rubble
advancing then retreating
turning round again

one dog - a mongrel (say)
suddenly barked (the
first dog-talk for hours
thinking this is a
stupid game - it's a bone
and dogs eat bones
and before all the other dogs
could swallow half their fear
it rushed the bone

a rubber tasteless bone
rotten and ancient

any ordinary backyard bone
would have given
a greater satisfaction

for doing what it did
the mongrel (say)
was driven from the district
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