Big Dogs

Jeremy and I run cross-country.
I am the one who travels straight,
marking miles like a metronome.
He tends to tangents, trees and rabbits,
runs in bursts, never more than a shout away.

We stalk the high country, push horizons,
first man and first dog
chasing imaginary antelope,
partners in an enterprise, sharers of the kill,
halting only when the sun melts in the West.

At night we share each other's warmth
camped by water's edge
beneath a covering willow.
I'm the one who soundly sleeps.
Jeremy sleeps in fits and starts, a night watcher.

In the morning, bathing in the frigid lake,
we are water dogs,
I, the American hairless, pale and sinewy,
he, the Labrador, black-furred and heavy muscled.
We are big dogs making waves on the mirror surface.

I am on the trail again
recalling a time past, a recollection of what used to be,
a Jeremy of my youth, that space
where dreams are real, where a man and a black dog
still run together through the high country of the mind.

I run alone cross-country.
I am the one who travels straight,
marking miles like a metronome, and
sometimes I see a shadow in the trees chasing rabbits,
running in bursts, never more than a shout away.

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Black Lab

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