An old tennis ball
near your resting head
waits patiently for a sign, biding its time.
Sunday’s sleek playground rocket
is Monday's slumbering sentry
dog-tired from yesterday’s triumphs.
Rescue dogs rummaged
Trade Center rubble undaunted by danger
Nine-Eleven just another reason to please,
and a pound's little penitent
cramped in a Salt Lake City kennelbox
waited patiently for a sign, biding her time
to save a family,
to be our unsuspecting guide,
a seeing eye through which we see life anew:
We taught you to sit
and obey our commands; you teach us
the secrets of dog-grace,
to judge not,
and how you would lay down your life
without first having to find your inner dog.
We filled your bowl
with tapwater to lap, and in turn
you pour out your undying loyalty.
We gave you a mat
in the corner, and for that
you ask for no greater privilege than
to guard our house
with your own precious life,
They say Dogwood
takes seven years to bloom.
You would have waited that long for us
wouldn’t you, our floppy-eared pal?
Go get the ball, girl! Time to play!