"Watching After August Rains" - Bob Ambrose
August 28, 2014
Come the season of crow and cicada
in the stasis of late summer
when old dogs and aging men
laze about their porches, waiting
perhaps to watch a raucous squad
maneuver through the understory
working the wide angles
ever closer, closing in
to stage a raid on take home tins
containing bits of doggie kibble
left from last night’s feeding.
Let them have it all, I whisper
staring down long moments
on a languid frame of fur and bones
to spot a shallow tell-tale breath.
Sleep, not death, not yet not yet.
Good ‘ole Bowser, last of litter
just another Georgia black dog
brought in from the woods.
Seen fifteen summers, asks so little –
tummy rubs and idle scritches,
snuffle walks around the back,
some kitchen scraps atop his kibble.
Let black birds have what he won’t eat.
We grow complacent waiting, waiting.
Far away the world lurches,
the young return to learning,
the busy go their scripted way.
You who strive and chase the wind
bursting with certain conviction,
would you pause and sit a while
to watch an August day with me?
For I have seen sixty five summers
that once seemed centuries
in a lifetime of forever
but from the distance of back decks
the days may drag
but years by God
are short. They lead
to spent seasons
tired dogs, and yearnings
which have no name
borne on a fresh westerly
clearing out the August rain.
(Photo of "good ole Bowser" by Bob Ambrose. His website is Reflections in Poetry.)