Death of a War Dog

He lies down to die, his white muzzle
Pointed away from peace, away from the house.
The children will cry, refugee neighbors replace
Their bombed-out tulip bulbs and speak fondly
Of his Stuka cry in their flower beds, the shreds
Of sound wailing down his diving hail of the dead.
I distrusted him, and for his part, he tolerated
Me; we burned together only as the scars in frost.
I was host to his old hostage years, they close
And he shivers his bared fangs at the phantoms
Finally coming clear again in their German-green
Walking coats. To their throats goes the shepherd
Of the nonwag tail. In unfettered flight he
Goes free of the bright and murderous mailman.
Dog dying; strange to the children; eye-glazing —
Waiting after twelve years padding for the shedding
Of his obsolete shell, he hears the hounds of hell
Baying, their belling after proud bones of heroes,
Anciently the dogs of war are running in Argos.
Away from us now, he hears their full crying; yet
It is the generation that is dying! My lingering
Hatred hears his cry, and with the dogs of war,
Goes down to die.