The sun sets
Shivers on the evening.
The dog inhales weaknesses
These woods bring
To his cold muzzle.
I unclip a steel ring from its chain.
Half beagle, pure dog,
He measures to no one –
For an hour he’ll worry creatures who alone
Store the earth’s few treasures.
Only his tail and paws stop as I call out
In rough Old English.
Tongue-tied by my small mind,
He pees in a buttercup.
The trees suddenly give up.
Alone in the clearing,
He nuzzles the tall sky.
I am brought to my knees
As fingers twirl in tufts above his heart
Where quiet strands unwind my nerves,
His eyes clear and guiltless, destroy
My collection of fear.
Yes, let’s exchange our cowardly contraband for the canine collection. They’re the gods and we the domesticated pets. Give your god a rump-scratch; store up treasures in heaven. – mh