Grace and Peace to you.
My dog lives in eternal prelude
to something glorious,
each moment a resurrection.
Whenever I get up from a chair he is sure
something great is about to happen.
The wings of his ears fly toward the smallest sound.
The click of the back door opening gets him panting,
his ears pointy. The doorbell or a car in the driveway
is occasion for eager frenzy.
The rattle of dog food pouring into a plastic dish,
the leash slipping off its hook, or the word “out,”
are springs of an ecstasy already granted.
Whenever I stand before my closet I might be
changing clothes. Surely those are running duds.
He sniffs every piece prayerfully.
Despite how often he is wrong, he is sure.
At dinner time in the basement he clatters
ahead of me to the bottom of the steps, turns around
and dances—dances, I tell you—leaping straight up,
David dancing before the ark—
elegant, righteous leaps, outbursts of hope
in holy celebration of the feast to come.
When he wants something—food, or going out—
even his longing is robust and confident,
trusting in things unseen, believing in me,
praying as if he has already received it, as if
even before your wishes are granted joy is possible.
What higher, troubled thinking might I shed,
what regret or calculating quit,
to attain this purity of hope?
Outside, for no worldly reason, suddenly
he drops his hips and fires off in a rocket run,
doing joy circles, for-the-love-of-it laps,
rhythmic explosions in his hind quarters,
ears a-wag, tongue a-flap, tail asunder,
outgunning all possibility of despair.
He rounds the field and heads back toward me;
his ears streaming flags, his tongue a scarf,
eyes shining with the glee that this moment—
he has never done before in his life
and it’s his favorite part.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes