A stray collie-mix lives under Barry's metal
shed-he trucked her home from the strip mall
and lets her fend for herself. Last winter, she bore
a litter. Barry set a plywood board over
one that wandered out and froze. Brin brought the rest
inside and kept them in his closet-it's warmed by
the water heater and a crude plastic skylight
the landlord cut into the slanted ceiling in
the early 70s. Brin built cardboard walls
and a nest of papers and let the mother in
and out of the front door as she pleased. Those weeks,
Brin came home running upstairs shouting in a high
voice, "Mo mo's! Mo mo's!"-the name he'd given all six.
They answered squealing, their clouded eyes looking for
his shape, and me laughing, watching them play,
leaning under the cross-beam of his doorway.