The Dogs of Easter Island
They all have brown eyes.
They curl up nose-to-tail along
the beach, a furry waterline,
or flop down beside an eyeless stone moai
who doesn’t mind the company.
When they need to, they dodge the wild horses
stampeding down grassy verges through the town.
They trot along the main road,
skirting the scooters and tour vans,
noses twitching as they pause at restaurant doors –
they like empanadas in particular.
You set out on the coastal road,
heading for the quarries and the caves
and a row of fifteen moai who patiently stand
until you finally capture the perfect shot.
At first you think the dog is just hanging out,
trying its luck in case you have sausage in that daypack.
You hike faster.
It’s still beside you, not even looking around.
Finally it drops back.
You sigh in relief
until it bursts out five feet ahead, wagging at you.
No matter if you start to power walk, sweating in your Gore-Tex,
or ignore it completely, or scream
you never wanted a dog
and you don’t deserve anything so annoying and loyal
and there isn’t any sausage, only trail mix
and it’s stale
so it might as well go bother someone else
because you sure as hell have nothing to offer
it will wander along nearby,
re-emerging from the scrubby undergrowth
just when you think it’s finally wised up and gone.