Runner-Up for the 2023 Grierson Verse Prize
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Website: Malika McKenney
The Future is a Dying Dog
on the yellow lawn outside,
soft and thin and made of bones
resting in the fading light.
It opens one eye on its own
and sees your graying hair and skin.
It drops its head, and dreams of home.
Sunday means tomorrow crawls up to the door
like that wounded animal you found
and keeps asking if you wanted more
than the soft and sentimental sounds
of beeping phones and whirring old machines
of passing cars and sliced meat by the pound
the throbbing hum of oft repeated scenes
from missing weeks that haunt the edge of sleep
the sound of losing hair at seventeen –
The future could be buried in the yard out back.
If it did it died in April rain,
and laid itself to rest without a plaque.