Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Dogs Protect You From Death’

Walk into the light

by Larry Brody


Life with the Navajo Dog was always special.  She wasn’t exactly the friendliest bitch in the pack. In fact, most of the time it was clear that there was only one other living being for whom she had positive feelings, and his initials were LB. But still, she shared the middle years of her life with another canine, and defended and taught him as well as me. They even worked together from time to time, and it was on one such occasion that I learned the following lesson:

Dogs Protect You From Death

Dogs protect you from Death.

I know it. I saw.

I was pumping water from the well when I heard

Barking over by the gate. A sleek black presence

Stood outside it, on four massive paws. All shadows

It was, even at midday, and the eyes–

Ah, It was the eyes gave it away, They

Were like holes, pools of blackness,

The darkest and grimmest of the

Creature’s dark and grim parts.

The presence stalked from one side of the

Gate to the other, the ground shaking with

Each step, and its massive head lowered,

And pushed at the chain. But try as it might,

Death couldn’t enter that day.

Both my dogs were there waiting,

And they knew exactly what they faced.

Hair bristling, teeth snapping, the dogs sounded their

Defiance in voices deeper

Than even Death dared to go.

The shadow hesitated, as though in great surprise,

And flickered like a candle at its end.

Still the dogs barked, until at last

The monster tucked in its tail, and turned,

Ran. I hurried to the dogs,

To thank and reassure them,

But they were celebrating already,

By lying down to bask in the sun.

Someday dark Death will return, I am certain,

But not until after D’neh and Boomer are gone.

Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.