Stereotyping at the Animal Shelter
Another cage, another pit bull mix,
another trusting face with wide set eyes.
These are the shelter dogs that no one picks,
because of what their heritage implies.
They’re an aggressive breed, detractors say,
owned by men who set up fights to bet.
A pit bull kills somebody every day.
Why would you want a pit bull for a pet?
And here is “Tyson,” aged nine, calm and sweet.
He’s good with cats, I read, and doesn’t bite.
I think of walking him along our street—
would people cross the road from me in fright?
He wags his tail. In our society
we don’t see past the things we’re told to see.
Anna M. Evans’ poems have appeared in the Harvard Review, Atlanta Review, Rattle, American Arts Quarterly, and 32 Poems. She gained her MFA from Bennington College. Recipient of Fellowships from the MacDowell Artists’ Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and winner of the 2012 Rattle Poetry Prize Readers’ Choice Award, she currently teaches at West Windsor Art Center and Rowan College at Burlington County. Her books include her latest chapbooks, The Quarantina Chronicles (Barefoot Muse Press, 2020) and The Unacknowledged Legislator (Empty Chair Press, 2019), along with Under Dark Waters: Surviving the Titanic (Able Muse Press, 2018), and her sonnet collection, Sisters & Courtesans (White Violet Press, 2014).