Walking the Dog In Memory of Duke

Walking the Dog In Memory of Duke

By Robert Jaeger

walking the dog

 

The rope is worn smooth.

The frayed loop at the end chafes

Though my fingers grip the knot

As this tenacious tan dog

Drags me around our small town.

Long lead or short makes no difference.

He is always at the bitter end,

Straining at the next bird or squirrel

Or dog or cat, or place to piss,

The next pile of waste or invisible trace

Of those who passed before.

If I try to change the route

Or simply slow down to consider,

To meet these moments on my terms,

He jerks me straight,

Pulls me back to his pressing needs.

I am mostly patient with him.

He makes my arm strong

And reminds me how the world works,

How the ravenous dogs of desire

And worry, of anger and fear,

These and all their starving pups

Drag me across the rough edges of the world

No matter how I wish to sit,

Or set my course, or set my heart.

 

Ojo Del Lago
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