He pulls me out to the front porch,
door slamming, unable to contain his exuberance,
runs to the end of the walk and comes
to a quick halt. Nose to ground.
Every day there are no less than five stops he must make
before we reach the park, reading the messages left behind;
a golden stream added on to some, not others.
Stepping lightly up and down moss covered and grassy patches
littered with September’s acorns, he pauses on the hills
to look out at his kingdom below and sniff the air above him.
On the grass by the swings he lets loose
and runs and runs and runs in circles
surrounding me in a ring of dog.
I watch him now asleep on his carefully
arranged collection of blankets and one pink, stuffed pig,
nose twitching, paws trembling, chest heaving,
and wonder where he’s gone.