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.