An old one, written back when we had the first airedale, who died in 1996.
Civilization will not allow for instinct:
no dinners of raw mice,
no clawing the eyes of enemies,
or defecating in the public streets.
Often, the dog scenting dog, coyote, fox
instructive, on a tuft of grass–
will turn against my call, ponder, consider,
squat to make her mark.
One morning, as I walked
between red cedars, young pines,
stooped to move between low branches,
to follow a mossy path worn deep by wild feet,
I felt an insistent urge to pee.
So there it was:
a seizure by immediate beauty
–light filtered through dark pines–
compelling me to say in the simplest way I could,
my animal way,
I was here.
This place is mine.