Once I roamed through the woodlands
With my large old shepherd companion.
We walked fearless, through redwoods and pines,
Through vines and ferns
To the top of the Cross mountain.
There we stood gazing out over the hills
Covered with sage and lavender,
Over the tops of homes cream and salmon,
The tall buildings of cement and glass
On the shores of an emerald bay.
We made our way by the pampas grass
Onto the dunes and sands,
Felt the water spray of the waves
As they hurled onto the shores.
We walked freely then in the world
As only nature’s top predators can.
Gone now into ashes and into ground
My big dog is no more.
For now I have a little dog
Who jumps up anxiously for the treat in my hands.
When worried she barks and bears her teeth,
Or crouches down onto the ground.
No long walks into the forest deep
Or along its mossy paths.
To a coyote or cougar she would appear
As an easy light meal
And I fear I would not be able
To keep them away.
So, no more wandering freely
Through the grandeur of the land.
I no longer walk along the unpredictable sea
Where rogue waves crash and crush;
Where unforgiving and unfeeling forces flow.
So now we stand upon the cliffs
Behind the gray old redwood fence.
Once, I had a big dog and we walked freely
Along the glorious shores.
Now I keep my little dog close
And when a stranger knocks
We stay behind closed doors.