At the speed of Charley (poem)

Moving at the speed of Charley, one summer
The warm sunny moments of his life
Barking against the wind
I’m used to his vocal shenanigans
Warning me and mine about imminent danger
About any stranger walking our country road, hooded and alone,
Travelers curious about the Dome, near our home
Maybe wanting to pitch tents and count stars
Charley shows no fear when it comes to the shadows cast by fairytale bad guys
But catch him during a good thunderstorm
Thuds against fierce moving clouds
Thor’s hammer knocks on our roof
Charley crawls under the nearest warm hand, shaking, quaking
Belying his courage, even the Husker kerchief he likes to wear
Finally taking refuge next to my wife’s leg
The next day, he’s out again, no leash, only freedom
this time greeting a fierce badger
In the cool lush stocks of the cornfield
Another dog, to play with? How could he know?
He once zoomed by a baby rattler barely giving it glance
The apathetic slithering beast was more concerned about getting across the road—lucky
A little faster than that squished toad—not so lucky
Charley continued to check his pee-mail, and to deliver more messages
On those other days, during breaks on the homestead’s front steps,
He sleeps, legs in motions, replaying memories of chasing after giant tractors
And trucks, the hawks, squirrels, the deer that happen by
He’s realized they are friends, and now he just says hi
Walks, running, along the dirt road, dust raises up around his paws,
The goat heads stick, causing him to limp, like a gimp,
Tender and hot, he seeks relief diving into a wide irrigation ditch
Wet and muddy, it cures his itch until the next day out
Back home, such joy, with his girl, and his boy
He nuzzles his muzzle into blankets atop their bed
A full stomach from his dog food goes unsaid
Whines and snores, she adores
When the sun and colorful sky comes back into view
His sleepy eyes race out the door
Moving at the speed of Charley!

Published by: frankmarquezwritings

I'm a writer, and have been for most of my adult life. Without making this sound like a resume, I wrote creatively in college, dabbling in poetry, short stories and play writing. Later, I became a journalist, public affairs specialist, copy editor and eventually a guy who ran his own newspaper. Now, I'm back to letting my imagination run wild in some new creations including a science-fiction novel. Somehow, I also managed to teach English to high school kids, and roam the battlefields of Afghanistan as a field historian. Field historian may be a misnomer considering all I did was write abstracts summarizing military unit profiles and missions that included hundreds of interviews of troops and contractors in combat. I grew up in a small town called Gering, Nebraska, before escaping to Pomona, California, where I spent my last two years of high school, graduating from Ganesha High School in 1983. I have a Bachelors in English from the University of La Verne (1987), and a Masters in Education from UNLV (2007). In between, I worked for government - the Army and TSA. I served tours in Panama, D.C., and Tokyo, all thanks to a teacher who encouraged me to see the world before I settled down. As hobbies, I run, hike and bicycle long distances. I have also been known to surf and ski. I now live in my hometown after moving back in June 2015. I get to see family on a regular basis, breath fresh air, and not have to ride the D.C. metro or get stuck in traffic. In fact, I ride my bicycle whenever I can. I'm happily married to my wife Lisa, and we watch over a pack of fur babies, our dog Charley, and three cats Spike, Bootsy, and Franky (his shelter name). If you should ever visit me in west Nebraska, be prepared to feast your eyes on paradise.

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