A shiny, black nose hits you first.
Then the brown, soulful woebegone eyes, framed by coffee-colored fur, staring up with a wistful expression, their gaze penetrating.
Two paws catch on your shirt,
the nails chipped and worn,
the pads scraped and stained crimson.
You eyes trail down, following a trail of matted fur down a long, bony body, the ribs sticking out painfully-
To a crooked tail, sticking out at half mast-
A rough reminder of the stray's harsh past.