A Blessing (after James Wright)

As evening’s chill creeps ever closer,
the light slouches behind the ridge,
and the dogs bay for their supper on the porch.
The older hound, the brother, nudges
his litter-mate sister in order to be the first
whose nose will catch the scent of the meal.
He dotes on the female, plays rough
to show who is boss, but gentle enough.
He lay beside her the time she broke her back;
the recovery was long. He is her best friend.
There is no solace like that of a dog and his sister.
They both sport traditional white collars, short hair
saddle brown markings, and droopy ears
that make their breed so recognizable.
I would like to play with them all day
and have them jump on my bed at night
and steal my pillow or have my feet warmed
by their heat. And the male has arthritis,
his joints ache as he shuffles to the sliding door
to tell me with his smiling, pleading eyes,
that he loves me more than I love him,
unconditionally. Suddenly, I realize
that if I were to see a poor man
this very minute, I would give him
everything I owned.



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