Saturday, 4 September 2010

A Cheery Wave

I glimpsed someone waving to me from a passing car on the way to work yesterday morning. When I looked properly, I saw it was a dog's tail wagging through a ute's open window, as he and his master bowled along the road. Such carefree creatures, dogs.

I thought of Charles Simic's sad poem, Two Dogs. Good nature is so easily trampled underfoot:

Two Dogs by Charles Simic
(for Charles and Holly)

An old dog afraid of his own shadow
In some Southern town.
The story told me by a woman going blind,
One fine summer evening
As shadows were creeping
Out of the New Hampshire woods,
A long street with just a worried dog
And a couple of dusty chickens,
And all that sun beating down
In that nameless Southern town.

It made me remember the Germans marching
Past our house in 1944.
The way everybody stood on the sidewalk
Watching them out of the corner of the eye,
The earth trembling, death going by ...
A little white dog ran into the street
And got entangled with the soldiers' feet.
A kick made him fly as if he had wings.
That's what I keep seeing!
Night coming down. A dog with wings.

No comments:

Post a comment