Oh dear dog on the street
Barking away in the dead of the night
At the empty space beside that quiet tree
Pray tell me
What is it that you see
That I can’t see?
When I wake up in the middle of the night
To you and your friends
Howling at an invisible bogeyman with all your might
I can’t help but wonder what could it be
That you see
And I can’t see.
But just to nights are not confined
Our strange encounters perplex my mind.
When the night is over
And the day reluctantly begins
I take a deep sigh
And step into the margins
Of my safe and secure life
Inside the four walls of my house
That I wished would come along with me
Every time that I go out.
Alas, that is not meant to be
And from my fort I nervously come out
And I see you every step of the way
From the gate of my house
To the main street, where cars abound.
I’ll be completely honest with you
Each such walk is a bit of a challenge for me
Every time you approach me out of the blue
I can’t help but freeze in the middle of the street.
But then there are occasions
When you look in my eyes so intently
That I shudder within as I acknowledge
A connection that has perhaps spanned centuries.
Humans and dogs have lived together
For years and years on end
And yet some of them are so scared
Of each other’s mere presence.
Oh! Watch out, here she comes, he says,
What if he bites, she thinks to herself,
Moving out of each other’s way
They both caught in their fear
Secretly wishing all along
That the other would disappear.
But it is not all that bad
As I have been forced to concede
My fear notwithstanding
I have learnt to believe–
They are here for a reason
And that reason seems to be
That I get over my fear
And face whatever life brings to me.
Walking to and back from work
Our encounters have been many
And now, alas, I think I have reached
A point of understanding
With my own inner beast.
The other day in the park
I got over my fear
I saw I could be of help
And I quickly changed gears.
I opened the gate for a big black dog
Who was trying to get out
The gate had to be swung open
And the poor thing was not able to figure it out.
I walked up to her
And looked her in the eye
And opened the gate for her
Saying good bye.
I think I truly see you now
Your shimmering soft fur
And your nervous shaky gait–
I wish we could be closer
But that’s for another day
And trust me, I can wait.
What I love most about you
Is to see you sprawled around
Basking under the winter sun
At the entrance of my house.
And as I move gingerly between you
Your bodies, with each breath, moving up and down
I am so glad that you leave me alone
And turn your head the other way round.