This old dog always has to push up close to my wife or me
on the sofa or the bed
has to look at us longingly
day and night
Although not seeing so well anymore
although seeing well enough it would seem
Not yet bumping into things
Still able to run all over and challenge whatever rival crosses his path
Old dog
listens without comment
to our conversation without grasping a word
Without catching the drift
and not even hearing so well anymore
although hearing well enough when it matters
He is not bothered by anything we do
or controversies on the TV
And cares not a whit about our plans for the weekend
he leaps to attention when we get up and goes wherever we go
even if it’s only to the bathroom or to get a glass of water
and he likes to take a drink himself too while he’s at it
not wanting to miss a single instant
of what we do and who we are
This old dog cannot bear our being somewhere else
other than stuck right in this here and now
Where he can take in our scent and
Feel the heat of our bodies
hear us breathe and let us hear him snore and sigh
and make the sounds he does when he’s dreaming of chasing rabbits or cats
through fields he has known
flashing back to his glory days
Waking up
begging to go out
eager to see if dreams can come true
even for canines.


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