I knew a chained dog, his chain thick and rusty. Timidly I petted him, the eyes in his face small and gray. Some nights his loud bark woke the people whose house he guarded. I saw him run in their long, spacious yard, a hill fenced by chain link. His house sat on a platform of blond wood, a plateau on the long hill of the yard. His shaggy black mane sun bleached, he was big, his mouth was big. The chain big and long clumped the turd-stained platform, a stage for Prince. I never saw him with other dogs.
Peter Mladinic’s have recently appeared in Bluepepper, Ariel Chart, The Alchemy Spoon, Detour Ahead and other online journals.
He lives in Hobbs, New Mexico.