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A Dog's Life
Ruth Gooley


On the far side of the parkís thick lawn,
a big white dog of uncertain breed.

The kind whose head flies high,
muzzle thrust before him,
as he chases the late afternoon light
with a howl, or a growl,
or a doggy version of a purr.

The kind that tastes the day
with a long felt-tipped tongue and a slurp,†
the bulb of a nose quivering
at the scent of a rabbit, someoneís lunch,
a gopher hidden in a hole.

The kind with long-lashed eyes
that scan passersby with longing for a pet, or a handout.
The kind that leaps after a squirrel,
darts after a shadow on the ground,
examines an airplane as it dissolves into fog.

The kind that searches in a branch for a wren,
nuzzles into rocks for a lizard,
throws himself at a passing pug,
raises his head to his masterís hand
for a caress and some kibble.†

This is the kind of dog I saw,
on the far side of the park,
at the corner of Westwood and Wilshire.
This is the dog I saw and adopted,
that long ago day at the park.††††

© by Ruth Gooley.
Used with the authorís permission.

Ruth Gooley has published a variety of poems in Your Daily Poem, Ibbetson Street Review, vox poetica, and NatureWriting, among others. She also published a dissertation, "The Image of the Kiss in French Renaissance Poetry." Ruth makes her home in a cabin in the Santa Monica mountains, where she lives in harmony with the abundance of nature there.







Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Great portrayal of the dog.
Posted 08/26/2019 04:16 PM
Arlene Gay Levine:
This seems to me a terrific , albeit subtle, take on kindness - the repetition of the word "kind' in five of the stanzas, the nature of the dog and the woman who adopts him. Thanks, Ruth!
Posted 08/26/2019 12:51 PM

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