Year of the Dog

By Jam Krapayoon

This year, like every year,
is the Year of the Dog
and our days are filled
with perpetual loss.

It feels as if we’ve lost
our opportunities to mourn,
the very structure of our days,
our plans, our work, our thoughts.

Around the city, plaques, and statues
are disappearing.
One by one, they leave
and do not announce their departure.

Around the city, the young
are disappearing.
One by one, they are taken
and are sunk into the water.

Somewhere in the country, a royal dog
went missing.
But I tell you, do not worry,
a team of officers have found her.

In England, they have told me,
there’s a Minister for the lonely
though two years on, like us, 
the English still seem lonely.

I wonder if our prince
in Feldafing feels lonely,
as his father flies around
with his entourage in Germany.

The government asks for calm:
“This pain is temporary”,
though our cities will be flooded
and our fields, dried and emptied.

Here, time is a wheel
ripped from an old bicycle—
no matter how far we go,
we always end up where we start.

This year, like every year
is a tired, beaten dog 
sitting watchful at home—
eyes fixed on the master’s watch.

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