by Sydney Lea

There’s a man with two bearded collies:
on his drive back home from an office,
the widower passes the three at 5:30.

When winter afternoons go brief,
each collie is hard to see as he marches,
well behaved, on a leash.

As far as the widower knows,
they never cross the street:
it’s always up one sidewalk alone

and then back down the same,
though maybe the man takes his dogs
elsewhere at other times —

perhaps out of town to a field
to chase a ball or stick.
The two may chase a squirrel

or find a brook and splash in,
the gray beards full of bubbles
that flicker, catching the sun.

The grass is so green in the widower’s dreaming!
And the dogs may flush bright birds. . . .
The widower’s driveway needs tending:

His daily commute has made holes.
He’ll see to all that later.
What to heat up for evening’s meal?

Perhaps that leftover potato.