Talking About the Dog

We were talking about the dog,

His head turned away from the fire,

When he started barking.

Nothing had disturbed us

As it had him. So we listened

For a sound from beyond

The light, keen to establish

Whether a threat lurked

Outside our senses, and if it did,

Whether it could overcome

The dog, our wits,

Or the thin walls of our tent.


We looked from the darkness

Back to the dog, who stopped

Barking, relaxed, and settled

His head on his paws.

We began to talk again,

Knowing that though he believed

In us and heard us speak –

Even drawing comfort

From our tone and our words –

Our friend could not know

The limits of his conversation

Or of ours, the extent.


March 14, 2007

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