Stray Dogs in Fall
by Dan Stryk


The small white mutt of my
Unsure Self trails the masterless
Dog of the Dying World,
watching him
lope the endless block
of yards he knew before his
birth‚ . . . I imitate his muffled bark
& snuffling breath, as round
& round
we trot as one
through rustling browns
of the dying world.


For it's come to me
now that a dog sniffing round
for the perfect smell, & a place
to pee
in the chilly breeze,
is the Rudiment of Life.


And, if so,
the Poetry of Fall
is the dog of myself, untied
at last, from the Rope
of the World
dreaming
he'll one day snuffle past
those crackling heaps
of burning
leaves, becalmed by the scent
of smoky light,
Alone.

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