His dogs always come back

“You dogs, you get back here.”

My neighbor’s voice marks each morning

“Get out of the street, dogs.”

His two ancient Chihuahuas,

Stiff, senile, barks like squirrels’ scold.

Totter out his front door, day

After day they wander into the street,

He hollers at them. He speaks with an accent.

“Come back here you dogs.”

The man comes from Iran. He came here

When young, when they overthrew

Our Shah. He has lived next door

For thirty-five years. No longer young.

Now he looks like the Shah.

Really, just like the Shah of Iran

Before he was exiled and died

But with different hair. One day

My neighbor changed his hair, dyed

It, styled it. A woman showed up;

She was much younger. And pretty.

“My wife,” he explained, “From Iran.”

They cleaned and scrubbed, threw out

Old furniture, planted flowers.

They looked happy. They asked me

If I could set a pot of their flowers

In my south window to bloom. I said yes.

And then she was gone. “Back to Iran,”

“For immigration,” he sighed,

The attorney said it was better

For the Green Card to leave and return.

Since then the exile of reason

Left the pretty young wife

On the wrong side of fear’s border.

“Get back here, you dogs,”

He again calls every day,

“Come here,” like before. No one

Can say when young wives or

Sanity will again be admitted.

Meanwhile, the flowers have bloomed

She is not here to see them.

They are pretty.

His Chihuahuas always come back.

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