On the path a dog barks at me.
Fear grows in my throat, my stomach twists.
I remember when a stray dog
broke into the yard during PE.
The children were in full revolt
refusing to listen to me.
I shouted in frustration.
The principal came outside
with a look of thunder on her face.
Later in the office she admonished
me like a little child.
I protested but got the deaf ear.
I wanted to scream out
that she was impossible.
The dog is still snarling.
I raise my hiking pole to belt it,
then realise he is also scared.
I run on quickly.
(An earlier version of this poem is in The Blue Nib issue 38 June 2019)