A Brief Interlude
Listen. Do you hear the warble of meadow larks?
The sweet gush of spring nearby? Retrace your steps,
Go down the road of your youth.
Look around and locate the rock where you used to sit.
Stare at the blanket of sky. Recall how its vivid blue
drowned out the sorrow of your first heartbreak.
How distant all those years have been now.
How foolish to shed tears over a boy who never
looked at you the way your mother’s loyal dog ever did,
with unreserved devotion, as if your presence alone was enough.
The bark of joy when you stepped in the doorway, the rush of welcome.
Him planting his two front paws on your shoulder.
You crouching down and letting him rain kisses all over your face.
He is lying beneath this very rock now, silent and still.
But how odd to feel his wet tongue on your chin,
and if you reach out you can almost feel his soft fur under your hand.
Good dog, faithful dog, you’ll think with a sudden flood of affection.
The only thing you’ll ever love with a fierceness
you can’t even begin to describe with words.
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