A flawed one— strong in the broken places,
Yet weaker than a babe in arms. Too loyal
And too fierce, just as a wolf-hound paces
Out the stag’s last miles, careful not to spoil
His master’s kill; wise in the ways of pack,
And etiquette, restrained in his observance,
Too eager for the pat upon his back
That tells him: ‘Here is a prince of servants.’
Ready to bite; but not until the call,
Not until the word is clearly spoken.
Here is one I prize above you all—
And dote upon— the one the world thinks broken.
And should he care, curled up about my feet,
Which strips of venison are fit to eat?