He Grew Up in a House of Arguments

He grew up in a

         house of arguments

                  but smothered in

the knowledge that he was

         loved —  not, he thought,

                  so different from

that house of the arguing

         adoptive parents of

                  the dog who hears

lowers his ears, tucks his

         tail and heads for the

                  security of the

place under the bed

         until the shouting

                     has ended

and

he

         lifts an ear to

                  hear the

sweetness of silence

         just above his head.

                  The man wonders

when is it just everyday

         dysfunction and when

                  does it cross the

line. Guiltily, he reaches under

         the bed and scratches

                  the dog’s ears.

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