Three Dogs in Cholula

(Listen to the poem here)

There’s dozing in the market in Cholula

in the afternoon.

Apart from that, some dogs.

Dog one is trying hard

to be a crocodile:

in pancake pose

under the portico

it floats its snout

upon the tiles.

Dog two is sleeping

in the middle of the road.

Dog three is mangy and,

upon the steps of something

called the Academy

of Canine Styling,

it’s busy adding up

its fleas. It keeps on

losing count and has to

start again.

Old buses and guitars go through Cholula

as the sun goes down.

Dog three barks briefly at arithmetic.

Dog one is waiting hard for something

to come floating

down its lazy river.

Dog two wakes up,

gets up,

looks up

into the sky

and then ten thousand

fists of rain slam down at once.

The puddles sit in silence in Cholula

as the night goes on.

Dog two gravely compares

their bouquet and their taste.

Dog three dreams fitfully of algebra.

Dog one unflattens slightly

as it cocks its ear.

Perhaps tonight something is just about to happen

in Cholula…

                    …perhaps…

                                        …tomorrow then.

Dog one is trying hard to be a crocodile.

Phillip Hill 2008

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(This poem is included in my book The Observation Car which is available from

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