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Blackguard at the Gate

Roger Camp

Our wooden side gate

follows the design carpenters have used

since Lincoln was assassinated.

Five panels of pine,

three two by fours nailed in a ‘Z’ formation

and a pair of strap hinges to swing on.

Whitewashed it will last a generation. Or two.

Our panels are mauve, an invitation countered

by the four inch letters spelling DOG,

a sign that did not deter the bulbous black squatter.

Discovering a nickel sized aperture so unnatural

it appeared machined bored

my finger probed its inky cyclopean eye

only to be reverberated, like Odysseus, into rout.

Each time I opened the gate

the bumble-bee would sound the alarm

vibrating the panels acoustic.

Partnered we lived together alarmed

and unharmed.

Closeup of a Black Dog

Roger Camp lives in Seal Beach, CA, USA where he muses over his orchids, walks the pier, plays blues piano and spends afternoons reading under an Angel's Trumpet with a charm of hummingbirds. When he's not at home, he's photographing in the Old World. His work has appeared in Pank, Rust+Moth, Gulf Coast, Southern Poetry Review and Nimrod.

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