Standing Watch, poetry by Anne Gruner at
Luis Banares

Standing Watch

Standing Watch

written by: Anne Gruner


One early morning at Safeway,
I’d stopped to grab some groceries
and a coffee from Starbucks.

Returning to my car, I noticed
a small mixed-breed dog
tied to a chair on the sidewalk
outside the store. It was lying down,
looking sad but cute.

I admit, I was instantly indignant.
What fool left their dog outside
with all the dog thefts? How could they?
I remembered an elderly man
behind me in the Starbucks line.
Something made me think it was his.

Right then and there, I decided
I wasn’t leaving. I’d sit in my car—
listening to the radio and drinking coffee—
and watch the dog to make sure
no one absconded with it before
the owner could return, whoever it was.
No one was stealing a dog on my watch.

Sure enough, in a few minutes, the older man
I’d seen inside shuffled out the exit to the dog.
He bent over to pick up its leash as the dog stood up.
I couldn’t help but stare as the two sauntered off—
the man limping and the dog hobbling on three legs.

As I watched them, the radio started to play an oldie:
“Me and you and a dog named Boo,
travelin’ and livin’ off the land.”
I realized they were both in good hands.

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