Rex Washes His Hands
SUNY Jefferson
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Rex Washes His Hands

Ray Petersen

Rex, I was told, was a German shepherd
Purebred, I suspect
Not like the mixed breed white shepherd
That bit me on the leg when I was ten

Rex, I was told, betrayed my friend
and not having any more details, my mind raced with the possibilities
But one thing was clear; Rex must have been
an incredibly self-aware dog

What did Rex do? I wondered
Steal a cookie and leave the crumbs
on my friend’s shoes?
Pee in his bed?

Rex torching the Hindenburg, Rex on the grassy knoll,
Rex sailing to England with Benedict Arnold,
Rex in the garden at Gethsemane
kissing Jesus on the cheek

There is no way now to ask,
after a different betrayal,
so Rex’s treachery remains,
another riddle, enigma, mystery.

Who let the dogs out?
Yes, indeed.
Who let the dogs out?
Hoot, hoot.