Man’s Best Friend – Philip Vermaas

I passed the house up the road
and saw the young man arrive.
He was dressed for something
in his trendy jeans and licked-up hair.
He drove a workman’s truck
with plastic tubes and stuff hidden
under a blue cloth.

He might have been a pool guy,
but this was a personal call.
He waited for an answer to the buzzer
with both hands tucked firm
in his back pockets.

As I passed the gate,
it all became clear.
There was a suntanned woman,
older than he by ten to fifteen years,
but lithe of body and snug in those tight shorts
that catch men ten or fifteen years younger.

(Not my kind of woman:
there’s a higher percentage
of narcissists with suntans in tight shorts
than there is among pale-skinned beauties
who are the only ones to whom a poet
should give that part of his cock
which is connected to his heart.)

I smiled to myself thinking,
there’s going to be some
good pure fucking
in that summer seaside house
this hot afternoon,
good for both of you.

Then I walked on, to soon return,
but having forgotten the house of lust;
it’d been just another thing to see.

A dog caught my eye.
A friendly dog, a kind of terrier
wagging his tail but in a state.
He barked at a gate, turned in circles
and wagged and barked at me,
then again at the gate.
It was clear he wanted in.
Then I saw where I was
and thought of the the pool guy
peeling off those tight shorts.

The house is secure,
barred gate and electric fencing,
not a slot through which
to push a fairly small dog,
a dog who must have dashed out
while tight shorts was distracted by
the visitor she was letting in.

I pushed the buzzer,
and watched for life from inside,
the front door being open.
Not a peep,
as though someone was in the bedroom
or, more likely,
making a mess of the scatter cushions
on the couch.

I buzzed again, and again,
and in about the time it would take
me to rip myself from the clutches of lust
and then put those summer duds back on,
tight shorts tiptoed into view.
“Hello,” she said nervously,
hanging back in the doorway;
her skin blotchy and face red.
Behind her I caught a fleeting flick
of the black hair that belonged
to the pool guy, who didn’t want
to be seen, was keeping
out of sight but cocking a cautious ear.

He’s not supposed to be here, I thought,
this is a down and dirty affair. And I
checked her shorts to see if they
were as neatly fitted as they had
seemed when I saw them earlier.

She saw the dog and understood,
breathed with relief, and thanked me
while she opened the gate and patted
her happy hound called Zack.

I walked on smiling smugly.

Except for Zack,
I’m probably the only other one
who knows what’s going on.
And the dog was happy, and she
seemed to love it,
and it’s silly-easy to trust people
with happy pets;
so I walked on smiling smugly,
guessing she’d married a prick
and thinking, there’s going to be some
good wicked fucking
in that summer seaside house
this hot afternoon,
good for both of you.

It remains:
is Zack not perhaps the cuckold’s best friend?


2 thoughts on “Man’s Best Friend – Philip Vermaas

  1. A second poem from Philip Vermaas, which we both enjoyed reading. For more by this excellent poet, click on Market Day in the Top Posts & Pages.

  2. It isn’t often that I laugh out loud when I read a poem, but I did while reading this one. I just loved this.

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