We invite them into our homes
and they immediately begin stealing things:
first a little bit of our dignity disappears
as we remove their waste from our floors and carpets,
then our sanity slips away as we make vain attempts
to teach them the rules of living in a house.
They sneak around in plain sight, looking for ways
to entertain themselves that involve making off
with our shoes, slippers, socks, or chunks of our furniture.
Just about the time we are exasperated and ready to give up on them,
they walk right up to us in broad daylight, tails wagging
as we come through the door, and steal our heart.
“Only for a few years,” they bark as they run,
tossing it in the air like a tennis ball.
“Then we’ll make room for another.”
Only by then we don’t want them to.