Lampshade of Shame

He wears a cone,

the color of daybreak 

around his head

like a lampshade

as if he were connected

to an electrical outlet

with an on and off switch

It is the cone of shame,

shouting from a megaphone,

screaming of injustice

for a crime, he’s never committed,

yet guilty as sin

He wears the damn thing

reluctantly, way too


out of obligation

to his loving master,

with his doggie pride tumbling

as low as a cross-eyed Tabby

Once a happy pooch,

now a lampshade

colors his mood,

defines his bark,

his four-legged gait—

a social reject,

labeled, libeled, 

and terribly mistaken.

Mark Tulin is a former psychotherapist who lives in California. He has a Pushcart Prize nomination for short story and authored Magical Yogis, Awkward Grace, The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories, and Junkyard Souls. He appeared in numerous publications and podcasts. He can be found at

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