dogs

To a brother, now gone.

Adopted by wolves,

The baby was.

Taken on a heavy moon night

When the wet grass turns to ice, and the wind investigates what the day left behind.

The gray mother-wolf carried the tiny boy

Through the hollow and into the forest.

Brushing his tiny face against soft leaves

And supple branches, until turning twice she curled up with the babe

And fell asleep.

The baby lay for a while in the heavenly fur,

Snuggled with the warm animal, smelled

The dog smell,

Framed by the damp forest scent

and looked out past the fur and leaves,

glimpsing the silver apples of the moon.

This baby, raised on bitter wolf milk

Grew stronger and dog-wise

Until one day, in a clearing, when the boy was older,

The pack saw humans on a brown leaf path.

They froze, and turned, fleeing into the thick trees

Of that autumn palace.

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Love overall

I love you because regardless of how hard the world is

You continue to love

And continue to breathe the air as a child does,

With wonder, hope, and joy.

I love you because seeing a rainbow makes you excited

And you tell me it’s the most beautiful rainbow you’ve ever seen,

No matter how many times we see a rainbow.

 

I love you because you have never seen a shooting star

And you make me promise to show you one, one day.

I love you because you are allergic to dogs

Yet love my dog.

No matter how cold, you walk me to the bus stop.

And I love you because when things hurt me,

they hurt you too.

 

 

Cold on the moon

There were the times long ago

When she would wake me in the night

And take me walking down the lanes and across fields.

Gently she would lead me through the dewy grass and mossy stones.

Once she pointed to the sky

And said: “It would be so cold to live up there.”

I looked into the sky where the diamond moon

Shone through wispy clouds.

Years past and there were Christmases, birthdays,

And holidays on the beach.

These moments of happiness seemed to slow the sadness that passing days always bring.

Later, I would visit her, and she would start up from her bed

Wild hair, searching eyes

She would cry out for a pet

That had been dead for years,

She would call out its name.

I would try to explain that the pet had died

But it would not calm her.

Other times she was scared and asked for help, or complained of the pain.

Now every time I walk along frost encrusted paths on winter nights

And think how much she would have loved to walk with me,

 I look at the moon; I think how cold it must be.

 

The bucket of rain

The bucket of water that catches the rain

is important to the birds and the frogs.

A dog drinks from the water, coughs, and drinks again.

It hasn’t rained all month,

but tonight it poured

and the bucket filled.

I watched out the window as a frog struggled

to climb out of the frothing waves,

it sat silently on the edge of the bucket

and rubbed its eyes.

I take the babies for a walk in the rain

and their mother chastises me when we return.

 

What happened to me yesterday

I found a chair for sale and because it matched one already in my house, I sent a message to the owner and asked to buy it. That was fine. It would be held for me, all I had to do was come around and pick it up. The chair would cost me sixty dollars.

That’s fine. I travelled into town and went to where the lady lived. A semi rural area where the houses are set apart on wide blocks and a lot of open space around. I went to the front door. The verandah was fenced off and there were a dozen small dogs hysterically throwing themselves about and barking. I stood on the front steps ten feet away from the front door so I could not knock, but the dogs were making enough noise the neighbors came out and gave me strange looks.

Finally the lady who owned the house came out and she was very friendly. A very kind woman, very welcoming and warm, she knew I was there to collect the chair. She told me to come in and the dogs would not bite me. I opened the gate and came in suddenly a three legged dog lunged toward me and locked its jaws around my shin bone. Its teeth sunk into my skin and it held on. I stood there in shock, automatically I wanted to kick the dog and send it hurtling off the verandah but I did not want to hurt it (not in front of the woman anyway). She yelled at the dog and then whacked it on the head and it released me, looked guilty for a moment and then came back to bite me again but I managed to get inside the house and escape.

She brought out the chair and I paid for it. It is a beautiful chair and in very good condition and I told her so. She was pleased to hear this and then she showed me some other antiques she owned, each of them being of high quality. Then we came to a brand new sideboard. It had lead light windows in the front doors but one of the panels was cracked.

“I found that for free on the street.” She said, “and I know how to lead light so I will be able to replace the glass. When I found this, it was in two pieces. I managed to screw it back together.”

“Oh so you are handy then?” I asked.

“Some what.” She said, “But as you can see I not too handy with the house work, my house is such a mess.”

“No no…” I said stuttering. “I mean at screwing.”

Silence. She went quiet and I went red in the face.

“I… I mean handy at fixing up…”

She was embarrassed and I was embarrassed so I left with my chair at that point. As I left even the dogs did not come near me. But I did buy a nice chair.

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