For a Hound Walking to Kris

For a Hound WalkingTo Kris.

BUT ONE more block, but one block more, and then, my brave, run free;
One block beyond old Murphy’s house — with narrow eyes his cat, hunched like a stone, watches you, her
mortal enemy.
And now I slip the leash. Race, friend, the world and all is yours: earth and its rocks, sky and its sun, the
trees, the fading grass.
Bark the fat ducks into the middle river, raise pigeons in a whirring cloud and pass
That abandoned bone. Yes, yes! I follow you, yes, I share
Your joy in fallen leaves brown and red; I, too, revel in the smoke of leaves burning in golden autumn air.
You puzzle over a scent, scan the bowed sky; you waggle upon a fresh trail
And point a moment, and mistaken, apologize with beating tail.
“No harm done,” I say, and am breathless at your muscles hardened to iron in mad flight;
Know envy as you pause to store stuff for incredible dreams in restless sleep tonight.
I shall remember when darkness falls and in the lamplight you speak from out that dream
This moment’s intoxication, the screaming birds, your eyes lit with a drunken gleam.
I, too, have coursed bright phantoms down the wind; I, too, would store
Excitement in the heart to ponder and remember always, to dream on evermore.
But come, the sun grows tired and swoons to rest, and we must leave tins place —
A stricter world and a world of laws is the world we now must face,
And so the leash again, all play is done. Pigeons and ducks we leave behind, the spicy odor of the leaves.
Yet give a glint of thanks from those reluctant eyes — Man, too, returning grieves
That joy must end and boredom come with the unwelcome leash
Snapped to his collar, bring to heel his yearning flesh,
For we who choose to live in houses must conform to laws some other mortal made —
To what poor comfort, oh loved, oh wild free spirit, are you and I betrayed!