Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Walking the Dog

Walking the Dog
Two universes mosey down the street
Connected by love and a leash and nothing else.
Mostly I look at lamplight through the leaves
While he mooches along with tail up and snout down,
Getting a secret knowledge through the nose
Almost entirely hidden from my sight.

We stand while he's enraptured by a bush
Till I can't stand our standing any more
And haul him off; for our relationship
Is patience balancing to this side tug
And that side drag; a pair of symbionts
Contented not to think each other's thoughts.

What else we have in common's what he taught,
Our interest in shit. We know its every state
From steaming fresh through stink to nature's way
Of sluicing it downstreet dissolved in rain
Or drying it to dust that blows away.
We move along the street inspecting shit.

His sense of it is keener far than mine,
And only when he finds the place precise
He signifies by sniffing urgently
And circles thrice about, and squats, and shits,
Whereon we both with dignity walk home
And just to show who's master I write the poem.
(Howard Nemerov)

*Cartoon courtesy of Mark Dean

1 comment:

Kelly Medina said...

This is the perfect poem for you to post.

Kivan usually does a speedy version of smelling when we go out for walks or to the mailbox, but she has one bush at the edge of my neighbors yard (the good neighbors, by the way) that always captivates her nose and will stop to smell, letting me know we aren't budging till she has taken in every last bit of the glorious urine smells.
Yesterday, I really let her get a good amount of smelling time in, while I searched the trees for a bird whose call I wasn't familiar with. I looked down to see if she was done investigating, she wasn't, so I let my mind wander... Is there layers of other urine smells and takes in-depth study to identify all the wild and domestic animals that have passed? She is getting urine residue on her nose? Has she found a clue to a crime and I could be a hero if I only knew to report it? Or is it from a boy dog that she might fancy and whines over when he passes by the house? Or a girl dog that is her arch rival in the neighborhood? ... yah, I know, it probably isn't the last few guesses, that would be too Lassie with a big twist of Dynasty, but MAYBE?!

Finally, I had to say "wrap it up" and give her a couple tugs so we could move on until next time.

Great post.