Pulling Hard to be the Alpha Dog

Hiking-Trails-in-Sedona-Airport-Loop-TrailPoetry Month – Poem a Day – No. 1

Pulling Hard to be the Alpha Dog
for Patrick

He refuses bad knees
calloused elbows
missing teeth
hurries along the rocky trail
determined to overtake
everyone ahead of us
view, what view?
There’s leading to do.

Until we stop
wander a bit off the path
pull out a picnic
our breath taken
by the infinity of below.
He flattens to the land
like a red rock
all the alpha draining
into a hard dog-snooze
one ear waiting
for the sound of ‘let’s go.’

No limp or lame diagnosis
could ever take his chief away
he lives to lead, he leads
straight into whatever is next
stopping to eat if he has to
then up, then jump, then
let’s go, let’s go, where to?
I’m ready. What bad knees?

I pray daily for an ounce
of his patience, resilience
and unquestioning belief
that there is always
somewhere important to get to, now
keep going, get to it
the curve up ahead
the boulder to climb over
the stump to skirt
or just the moment
absolutely and undeniably
the right moment
run to it
drop everything
lay down
and take
a nap.

romeo (1)

Image of Romeo, the dog, by Sean Mackler
Image of Cathedral Rock view on Airport Loop Trail by http://flavorverse.com/hiking-trails-in-sedona/

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