#14 Female Collie Mix
by Michelle Salob

Locked in a cage, a prison
Yet her tail still wags
Her family dumped her
Like refuse by the curb
A toy they were tired of
Left over from holidays past
She looks at me through the wire
Her ears standing up.

I put your leash on
While you lick my hands
We run out to the field
Where the others have brought your cell mates
The ice and snow cut my legs
But I don't notice
You are so eager to be loved
Ready to leave with a stranger
You don't want to run free
Only my hand stroking your fur.

It's time to take her back
To her temporary home
Made of concrete and steel
She refuses to enter the shelter
I have betrayed her
She thought I was taking her away
But I am just a visitor, a volunteer
Browse but do not buy
What will become of her?
Next time she will be gone
Loving family or burning incinerator?
I put her back in her cell
She jumps up, doing her best tricks
I already love her, but it cannot be
BANG The slam reverberates
I lock the door and look away.

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