by Michael David Madonick

Puffed up, as if weight might give body
to song, the cardinal’s staccato rakes
the morning air.  Beneath him, in the same
snow shower, my dog and I are not thinking of
Pissarro, Seurat, whatever pointillism might have
to do with any other movement in art.  The fact is,
at this very moment, my Golden Retriever
is hunched, like an incontinent Slinky, working
her muscles toward some more immediate end.
For this I am happy.  It is cold and the wind
does not discriminate against anything, the living
or the not.  When she is done, her focus returning
from that deep and almost reverent concentration
a catechism, a mantra to look at her work, she is
stunned, impressed, and clearly lighter on her feet.
She could be an artist, if she had a thumb, a studio,
a blue beret.  But she seems more earthy, a plumber
perhaps, done with soldering a maze of copper pipe,
the smell lingering, not altogether offensive, above
her achievement.  She might well be thinking Gold
may not be the alchemist’s intention. I will feed her
again, later in the day.  The bird will be elsewhere
doing what it must.  And I, not worthy
of her earnestness, not sure about my
place in any of this, will hold the red
leash, attend her urges, and wait,
on the weighty and the not.