||Alex and Army |
- A small boy, fourteen months of age,
- An old dog, fourteen years his senior,
- At play on the lawn,
- on a summer's eve.
- The boy is curious, but gentle; making aquaintence of the dog,
- Stroking and patting, gibbering and smiling, investigating this
- Furred, horizontal creature,
- his companion this night.
- The dog is patient, accustomed to children, though now fully deaf
- In his advanced age. He hears not the child's murmurs and whispers,
- He feels the pressure of a soothing hand,
- and scans the blurred horizon.
- In younger days the dog would bark and scamper,
- Alert at the least noise, guarding home and family,
- Teaching children how to play, how to be patient,
- how to be wary.
- His self-imposed duties are fewer now, and harder. He can chase the
- Ball only three times in the summer heat before needing a rest.
- His owner is patient: she has taught him sign language to replace
- her now useless words of command and encouragement.
- Each time the dog rises on short legs, and waddles foreward, the
- Child rises unsteadily to his feet, and teeters after him,
- Stooping to pat, and rub and whisper bubbling sounds at the dog
- who cannot hear him.
- The child's mother calls him homeward. After a last rub of the dog's back
- He complies, wobbling toward the porch light with upraised arms.
- The dog lies still in the grass,
- Savoring every precious moment
- Of every summer evening
- Left to him.
© 1997 Stephen L. Spanoudis, all rights reserved worldwide