Poem: How the Dog

is dog white. How he opens himself to the world each day—every morning

the same—empties himself, then drinks. How his black pads and variegated claws

click the pavement exactly in time with the barefoot version

of Ode to Joy and he means it. How in the dignified winter of his life he’s so willingly

your child. How the dog recovers. How his heart is an unsealed document and he

writes upon it daily. How inside his small body is a great hall, a library of smells in which

you’ve been permanently shelved. How the dog forebears, how the dog goes about doing

the work of dog. How the dog unmirrors you. How the dog is dog quiet, sprawled

on a pile of clothes. And how the dog allows, hears violin when you throw yourself

across the bed for effect whimpering again in that strange

human accent you have. When you’re down there, trying to tell the dog about your life

how the dog’s best music is listening.

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By Kelly Parsons

Kelly Parsons practices with the Mindfulness Community of Victoria, B.C. and the Mountain Lamp Community in Washington.

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