Hard to Explain

how we’ve grown used to each other,

this dog I call Bubbykins sitting at the end

of the gravel driveway opening onto The 152

precisely at 8:05 on those Saturdays and Sundays

a tousled brown ball of long floppy ears and

eyes that peer into mine as I slow just enough

to call out, and him lifting his head, flaring

those ears in a bare acknowledgment

I saw him once chasing the red pickup

crossing the highway racing after his own agenda

following the farmer north toward the grain bins

didn’t seem to like being left behind but the danger

made me gasp, speeding pickups cresting the hill

not knowing of the little dog’s penchant for

leaving the driveway to run first down the roadside

and then charging into his breathtaking crossover

such a simple visiting between us:

my just shouting Hi, no need for names or

introductions, familiarity born of predictability

like folks seen only at the store or laundromat

friends because of a smile, a Hey, a hug and

missing it when someone’s gone like how

I missed the little dog on icy winter days

age creeping into his doggy bones the way

it’s crept into mine and needing that joy

born of spying his lumpy tumble atop the hill

at the base of the drive. His a true gift even though

his owner’s unaware and we’ve never touched.