|Sonnet: My Dog Sunyata
Having a bite--falafel or maybe a slice of pizza (extra
cheese, no meat)--I watched the dog outside, leashed to a utility
pole, sitting quietly, waiting for its master or mistress, whatever,
reminding me of my dog Sunyata, who never failed to amuse
me whenever I took notice of him. "Here, Sunyata,"
I would command, and he would unfailingly obey, come
to wherever I was and sit there, looking up at me
with his brown eyes. My dog Sunyata hated the president
as much as I did, rolled his eyes and growled whenever
he came on TV. My wife had taken to leaving us alone
at such times, knowing that to do otherwise would invite
retribution. Streetcars still came and went in those days,
taking their power from overhead powerlines, as though
power were something just there to be taken.
Down at the station I am struck
by a thought that carries
me along with it past downtown
exclamations along the order
of Look at me! and Here am
I! and into seedy boroughs
of No way! streets and Who you
lookin' at? alleys. Then the green
of I've got mine, Jack suburbs
flashes by on the right, with river
sucked seaward on the left, until
the little townsso quaint, so coy
slide past. First, Why me, O Lord?
then What have I done to deserve this?
in quick succession; then, farther north,
in dairy country, a bite-sized town called Huh?
For an hour I brood between Huh?
and Hmmm, where there's a longish
stop for fuel and water, and I
climb off and walk around for a while.
Back on board, I start taking
notes, jotting down thiss
and thats about theses and thoses.
I hear a conductor coming through
the carvoice powerful and deep
announcing, Next stop, Eureka!
I snap to wakefulness, fully aware
now that Ive had a dozeon the wrong
train, on the wrong coast, for any
sort of ultimate destination
so at the next station, the one for Muddle
and Quandary, I grab my bags, get off, and am home.