To shackle a dead dog by Iyang Brian Blessing


The world was all gone when you woke, I know. All your dreams gone too. All left was the carcass of a dog which you bore heavily, staggering, all the way back home

The night you lost your dog, you lost yourself. I know. You were walking back from meeting Justin at the park. He did not show up as he had promised, funny how you meet a guy in the neighborhood mall and expect him to keep his words. But then, that’s the desperation you have for a life.

So strolling back with the dog, trying to forget about being stood up by a total stranger, you got lost so deep in thought that you forgot the dog for a second because the next thing you were conscious of was a muffled bark. Then the same guy was hitting the dog with a crowbar and you just stood there staring, confounded, until a hand from nowhere covered your mouth, a large black hand, another choking you. You were so confused I imagine, the strong body scent was familiar. Silly girl, how could you have forgotten? The musky scent he wore that filled the mall earlier in the day. It was Justin.

And it happened so fast, you couldn’t have helped it. I mean how could you? He had looked to weigh a hundred kilos and you weighed just what? Fifty? Fifty-five? The way he took his time, you had that feeling you weren’t the first girl to be under him at a street corner so late at night. He masterfully picked the lock, and you felt ripped apart. Of course you were apart, slowly losing consciousness, I know the last thing you saw for a while was the dying dog, and the last feeling you had was that you were no better yourself, lying there battered and bare.

The world was all gone when you woke, I know. All your dreams gone too. All left was the carcass of a dog which you bore heavily, staggering, all the way back home. Christine perceived something as she opened the door. Maybe that’s why she asked where the dog was and you told her you lost it. So she kissed you on the cheek and promised to get another the next day, then she rushed off to the pan she had on fire.

But that was all. I know the others heard too. And when you tried telling mom, I know she shut you up and said it was no one’s fault you lost the dog. What good girl goes by herself when it’s dark outside? Dad, he said he was not sober enough to give you a good whipping.

That was when you ran upstairs, wasn’t it? You cried a river. But did it wash you? Did it drown your filth? You only cried and cried more until Christine came in. You told her Justin knew you and she only smiled. We must forgive her, mustn’t we? She must have thought you were only naïve or that you were shedding tears of joy.

And tonight Florish, tonight sitting here listening to mum talk about her faith in her children, you only feel revolted, nauseated, because soon the stink of the dead dog will fill the room. And maybe if they pretend not to notice, the rest of the world wouldn’t. Tonight, you realize it is not worth the walk if you always have a dead dog for company.
There is only one way to shackle a dead dog. Isn’t there? Well, I can help you. Go find yourself a rope, a twine maybe, meet me upstairs and let’s get this over with.

See Iyang Brian Blessing’s brief data and, other poetic piece in mini poetry anthology: When love comes around