Marybeth Niederkorn

All Who Are Found

might not have been lost in the first place. Just
scroll through endless pictures of energetic
dogs who are very friendly and not wearing
a collar for some reason, in this remote but
not too remote corner of town.

How could they be anything but lost, the poster asks.

Maybe the dog was a good idea at the time, but it grew,
bigger than a beagle and that was maybe the tipping
point, or was it the night all the shoes in the house
got bitten through, or the puddles or the demands
for attention meant as invitations to fun, but began
to sound like so much squalling hateful babble
on top of every other godblasted everything

Used to be easy enough to shrug and say “Sometimes
dogs run off, what can you do” but now, now there’s
always the chance someone will recognize that
widely shared photo taken at the corner of Lexington
and Sprigg, near the apartment complexes, near the
subdivisions full of children’s “Can we keep him?”s

Got to drive all over town, at night, in the rain, damn yapping
mutt, increasingly desperate to find that magical spot in town
empty enough so no one will notice the dog getting shuffled
out the car, but busy enough that someone will notice the
dog before it gets hit. Come on, you’re not a monster.
This dog is just too much. It barks. Who knew dogs bark
this much?

And would you just shut up long enough
to let me figure out where to dump you?


Marybeth Niederkorn writes for a living as a reporter for the Southeast Missourian newspaper, and her fiction and poetry have appeared in Red Fez Entertainment, The Journal of Asinine Poetry, and a 2016 anthology, Small Town Tales Vol. 1, from Kapuha Press, among others. Educated at Southeast Missouri State University, she holds a B.A. in philosophy and an M.A. in professional writing. She lives in Missouri with her awesome husband.