A DOG’S DAY
A poem for Cricket the Dog,
I am not how you see me:
a dirty hearth-rug of a beast,
patrolling the gutters, nose-low,
detecting trails that lead to
dung, or piddle, or worse.
(You saw me once sniff a dead cat
with the same prancing joy that daily
I greet you on your return from work.)
My world is a patchwork of scent,
a cottage garden of delight,
a fairground of noise and fragrance.
When I lay in the sun, one eye cocked to the
seagull overhead, I hear Apollo
in the Lewis’s garden, smell the dishwasher swill,
catch a flea, observe a bumble bee busy at a window
while dad tap-a-taps in the room above.
You may see me start quickly,
tail like a bottle-brush.
Then am I wolf after prey:
a shadow in the long grass
stalking the rustle of an ancient foe,
poised to pounce on rubber ball or
tattered time-torn shoe.
No. I am not as you see me.
I am dog of the yard,
prince of the pavement,
content with my place in the sun.
*Apollo was the name of our blond Burmese cat: beautiful beyond measure.