Ripley, Asleep

Less dog than crumpled rug,
Ripley lies
asleep at her master’s feet.
Splayed paws,
finding no ground to grip,
claw at thin air.
Unfocused, turned inward,
though half open,
both eyes are clouded over.
While in pursuit
of an elusive dreamscape,
her nose remains
fully attuned to the scents in
this living room.
Still, it is not the television
or our laughter
that prompts resurrection,
it is the incessant
tug of a child’s curiosity.
Moments before,
about to tear a squirrel
into edible pieces,
she was determined to
devour it whole.
Yet, instantly sheathing
jagged teeth
when rudely awakened,
Ripley instead
licks the offender’s hand.

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