In the yard under a majestic poplar tree is an old hound,
The tree has known him since he was a pup,
Its roots having grown around his favorite spot.
He slumbers, a reposed puddle of black and tan,
Ears marked with nicks, pieces missing,
His gray muzzle a scarred testament to his years.
He does not know time as we do, he knows seasons.
When the fall air turns crisp he acknowledges it,
Rheumy eyes peering at the woods around the house.
There is movement, scent in the air calling him.
Though instincts overcome his painful indolence,
He is no longer able to break brush on the hunt.
Once his strong voice told game he was on their trail,
Now, only a whispered rasp announces his wakefulness.
He believes he is still that force of nature and he speaks to it.
When the stars are spread like diamonds on black velvet,
On clear full moon nights, golden light fills his soul.
With nose pointed skyward he stands before heavens altar,
Howling a mournful comment for times lost, memories regained,
The lament a tribute to his cascading dreams of the past.
He is close to his time for his forever long last hunt.
He doesn’t know that he will be missed, hearts broken,
Those that know him will be burdened with that sadness,
Remembrance of a life well lived, the passing of time and old dogs.
©2019, Donald Harbour