I Worry for Flaco

flaco.jpgI greet this skinny dog every morning (with the exception of Fridays), and I watch as he moves, like a sunflower, to bask his face in the warm morning rays.  On my fifth lap he has grown lazier (as I have), and often rests his head on the sidewalk and can barely keep his eyes open.

He is full from lolling in light and tries to ignore my pursed lips calling his attention. (Though his ears betray his feigned apathy.)

I try to warn him that it is July and they are cleaning up the park and they have little tolerance for loiterers, even those with sweet, tanned faces. The tourists will be pouring into the city in fewer than two weeks; he needs most urgently to find a place to hide, a place far from those who want to sweep up all of the strays.

Perhaps the shoeshiner he prefers to be near has a refulgent yard in which to harbor my little skinny dog.

Speaking of having the “saucer of my heart [filled] with milky adoration…”

From Dharma

–Billy Collins

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—

  • Play with personification; give an animal powers to do business or complete chores or head off into the world. Worry about him as if he were a son or a father.

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