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Dharma

 The way the dog trots out the front door
every morning
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her doghouse
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.
Who provides a finer example of a life without encumbrance— Thoreau in his curtainless hut with a single plate, a single spoon? Gandhi with his staff and his holy diapers? Off she goes into the material world with nothing but her brown coat and her modest blue collar, following only her wet nose, the twin portals of her steady breathing, followed only by the plume of her tail.
If only she did not shove the cat aside every morning and eat all his food what a model of self-containment she would be, what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager for a rub behind the ears, so acrobatic in her welcomes, if only I were not her god.

Poem by Billy Collins
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