A bark in the park

Tineke Van der Eecken

Shhh. Tap runs. Flip flop, footsteps. The door. Klunk klunk krrr,  the coffee machine warms. Flip flop flip flop. The door!  Krrr krrr pshh, machine,  coffee smell. Flip flop flip flop. Klik. Yes. We’re in. Hello. [sniff] 

Hey, I smell cat! There they are, spoilt brats. Drinking milk. Drinking milk! Don’t look. Keep going. Flip flop flip. Hey, I know what we’re doing. Let’s go!

I’m first in the bedroom! I can jump and be first on the bed.  Oh, okay, I’ll wait.
Can I jump now?

Lick lick lick. Cats have milk. Don’t listen to them. Stay focussed. This is important. This is my time.

‘Come’ she says. Forget about the cats and the milk. Cuddle in bed. Oh yes! How about here, on my tummy? And there? Oh yes. 

Hey, that milk must nearly be finished. [sniff] Coffee, close, yuck. Cat’s milk’s better! ‘Where are you going?!’

I’m fast. Scare the cats.  They run away. My turn for milk. Ahh.

Back to the bedroom. Flip flop flip. Bedroom, kitchen, boys’ room, kitchen, bedroom. Flip flop. Kitchen! Djunk. The fridge! What are we having? Djunk. Nothing. Djunk. The fridge, again! I’m here -- hello! Djunk.

Shower runs. I’ll just sit here. Whoooo! the  hair dryer. I’ll just sit here. 

Here she is. What are we wearing? The black wind jacket? Come on, the black wind jacket. Oh. Skirt. T shirt. What about shoes? What shoes? Pick the boots, pick the boots! Or the crocs, crocs are good too, even if they’re ugly. Heels? Oh no. (Sigh)


Huh? Is she swapping shoes? The ugly crocs? Yes! I’ll be good. I promise I’ll be a good boy. Let’s go let’s go!  You know what? I’ll run ahead!

Where is she? Clickiticlick. The leash! Is it the red one? With the yellow plastic bags? We’re in business!

Cross the road… The park! Aah, ooh, oh yes!



Tineke Van der Eecken considers Western Australia home and has Flemish-Australian multilingual heritage. Her memoir Traverse (Wild Weeds Press 2018) was shortlisted for the 2016 TAG Hungerford Award, and follows Café d’Afrique (Tineke Creations 2012). Her poems have appeared in various media, including The Lake, Blackmail Press, Going Down Swinging, Famous Reporter, and Tamba. She has a Jack Russell named ‘Moose’. readtraverse.com Facebook: TinekeVanderEeckenAuthor

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