Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Puppy Orientation

There Will Be Stairs

A leash, a bowl, at least one walk a day
two squares and all the flotsam and jetsam
you can cadge short of larceny from the
plate.  The park is close, an open maw that

must be appeased, sere indifferent god with
this strange affinity for tennis balls  
offered up in prayerful overhand arcs.  
Let’s hope you’re no fetching unbeliever,  

the rational type thwarting every gift  
sent aloft, dropping Nietzsche and endless 
filthy Spauldings at my feet.  You can count
on rides in the car and walks in the woods

year round, red bandana in winter, a
dash of color on the canvas of a
painting we’ll never finish, returning
again and again to a stark landscape

vibrating with ranks of vertical tines
issuing from ribbons of blue shadow
unfurled toward dusk, a field of white festooned
with your bold smudges of heedless yellow.

There will be stairs to lever and convey
us up and down, in and out, a benign
case that will metastasize as we age
along parallel tracks, dwarfing us one

unexpected evening in spring, coffee
programmed, door closed on one final circuit
of the backyard, a series of slow drips
and drabs to remind you why you went out

in the first place, a familiar artless
dance among dogs and men of a certain
mien.  We’ll stand wordless, moon waning through
an upper pane, day spent, our long shared trail

behind us, a moment’s hesitation
at the bottom of the looming well then
up to bed where I’ll lay awake until
the sound of your breathing falls in step with

the warm night breeze that rustles the curtains
and seeds our dreams, here to beckon us out
for a walk off the leash through woods stirring  
green, last cones of snow bidding us farewell. 


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