Saturday, January 26, 2019


I see you, old dog,
with your splayed feet and slowing
step, gone the quick moves of youth.
I see you, old dog,
frost gathering on the fields and on your muzzle.
Hearing still good, listening less so, but
you dance for me, your eyes
still keen, still asking,
what next?
Then prone in the sun, deathlike, dreaming
of sheep and long horizons and other days when aging
bones had
no complaints.
I see you, old dog,
those seasons ago; novice trial, novice dog, novice handler.
I send you and you're gone, tremendous
stride pounding the green earth and
I am in awe,
I don't remember what to do, but
you do.
You do and you run out
on the muscle memory of your ancestors.
I see you, old dog,
in the pearly dawn, gliding through the dew with sheep,
two hundred plus, propelled on the end of
your nose, bringing them without
sound, but the shuffling of hooves in the meadow.
I see you walking
before me, head down, black haunches driving,
like gears to an ancient machine that
moves in a dance laid down centuries
before. All the generations
whisper and you hear them, taking sheep out into the sun.
I see you, old dog,
on a thousand fields from a thousand posts, where I
stood and you ran out
in joy and purpose, and time
could not touch us there, in that space between grass and sky.
I see you, old dog,
you and the sheep and the earth slowly turning beneath our
feet. Moving on so many roads.
Your golden eyes seek mine and we both smile.
As ever.
As always.
I see you, old dog.
I will always see you.
© 2019
G. M. Atwater