portion of the artwork for Michael Meyerhofer's poetry

Watch Dogs, 390 B.C.
Michael Meyerhofer

When the Gauls attacked Rome
some four hundred nights before Christ,
great hordes of them crawling along
with swords in their teeth,
these canines failed to sound the alarm.
Only the trumpeting of temple geese
gave us the history we have now.
And so for years afterward,
Romans marked the occasion
by gathering and parading around
freshly crucified stray dogs to show
the consequences of failure.
But of course these were a new litter,
related to those who came before
only by blood and milk. Without doubt,
each one made a terrible cry.
But who could be bothered to listen?
Cups spilled, flutes and lyres sang.
Your father bore you on his shoulder.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 56 | Fall/Winter 2020