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The Scuffle, a poem by Andrew Hubbard

The Scuffle
by Andrew Hubbard

Who would believe
A coyote would slink
Onto our front porch
On a mild November night?

Our husky flew through the door
In a mixture of outrage and fury.

They were matched in size.

My dog had indignation going for him
(And that’s not a small thing),
But speed and ferocity
Were all on the side of the coyote.

The death bite was not far away
When I got there with a handgun
And shot the interloper twice through the chest.

He laid down and died
Spraying blood across the porch,
His wicked teeth chomping,
His eyes blazing violence
Until they dulled and closed.

Our boy only had light cuts
On his lips and muzzle
And one on his shoulder.

Easy to dress, but he shivered
And whimpered until my wife
Found a codeine pill from when
They pulled my wisdom teeth.

Even then he cried in his sleep
All night long. And in the morning
He climbed into my lap
And buried his face in my armpit
For a long, long time.

About Andrew Hubbard: He was born and raised in a coastal Maine fishing village. He earned degrees in English and Creative Writing from Dartmouth College and Columbia University, respectively. For most of his career he has worked as Director of Training for major financial institutions, creating and delivering Sales, Management, and Technical training for user groups of up to 4,000. He has had four prose books published, and his fifth and sixth books, collections of poetry, were published in 2014 and 2016 by Interactive Press. He is a casual student of cooking and wine, a former martial arts instructor and competitive weight lifter, a collector of edged weapons, and a licensed handgun instructor. He lives in rural Indiana with his family, two Siberian Huskies, and a demon cat.