First Draft: Dog-Walking

I am no father, but can’t deny paternity implied:
I’ve played the part, have knelt for her in the dark
in the rain in the parking lot of an abandoned restaurant,
have fed and bathed and clothed her.
This cuckoo’s hatchling in my human nest
who diverts my instincts to her needs
cannot fulfill the full imperative of life,
but still, commensal, shares the prey
she captures with her infant paws:
the disarmed smiles of passers-by
which I imagine are for me.

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