Skip to content

Walking the Dog

December 23, 2016

By Howard Nemerov

Most animal poems are sentimental tosh, but there are exceptions. A Blessing by James Wright is one. Here’s another.

I’m not sure it’s even really about dogs. We all think shit is interesting, and Connected by love and a leash and nothing else must be about something else. Showing who’s master I guess.

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.

Howard Nemerov

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 4, 2017 1:51 am

    What a lovely poem! The dog and the owner are truly connected by love and leash and nothing else. Not only our dog will benefit through this walking, also the owner will get benefit from it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: