he spends his days in a continual yearning.
having memorized my lackadaisical schedule,
he sits in the backyard, pretending to doze in the sun
but he listens.
to every indoor sound.
water running, microwaves whirring,
cabinet doors slamming. TV blaring.
car keys rattling.
he stares in expectation at the room window
where he estimates he might catch a glimpse of me
through the glass.
he differentiates between running shoes and house shoes
traipsing across the floor.
the former resulting in frenzy at the door.
he cries out loud, jealously, at the sound of my voice on the phone
talking to any other than him
he whimpers his pleas just under the threshold.
‘Just one more walk among the trees.
One more round of throw- the- ball
I ignore him mostly.
I dread the dust and wind.
I’d rather be on the computer,
Sending emails. Writing poetry.
Until the noon temperature rises to 40 degrees or so.
He hears me gather the trash for the bin.
Tramp down the stairs to start the laundry.
(he is wild about a game of hide and seek in the basement)
He has a relentless hope that I will soon emerge
in my two sets of pants, coats, hats, gloves
with his leash.
I don’t need it really.
he stares at me with his sad weepy eyes
whether he is chasing prairie dogs,
being petted by neighbors, walking
eating, drinking, performing his trick routines.
He waits nervously for our codes, shifting his paws.
A click. A whistle. A hand gesture.
Any mere sign that I approve.
He has a soft, nearly indistinguishable wheezy snuffle
When I massage along his soft vertebrae.
Sentiments and adoration one would hope for forever.
I loved One like this,
So long ago, the memory is dimming.
All I remember is that
the cruelest ruse
The most callous hoax of all is Hope.