Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Walking the Dog by Howard Nemerov

Given to me by my Gmail account!  That is to say, the Gmail Quote of the Day, from Nemerov, ("A teacher is someone who never says anything once") prompted me to look him up, which lead me to this hilarious, beautiful, truly-truly poem:

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.


That's my dog Minnie in the picture.  She is a very fastidious person who prefers never to shit in the yard, but only outside of her home ground.  

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