There is everything in his eyes.
Packs of wolves fleeing across the frozen waves,
Black shapes into the blacker woods
And he is there.
Once he was one of them
Such muscles in his legs,
Such hinged jaws. A giant of a dog
Who barks at horses, sheep,
Mistaking them for the wolf he still is.
Today he lies on the rug,
Tail bandaged, a giant, a walking house
Brought down by fleas
And yet there are meadows in his eyes,
Steep, sharp cliffs toward which the sheep
Drift like suicidal clouds,
And as he dreams,
His muscles twitch,
In nightmares it is always the same,
He sees the danger, cannot raise his head,
Cannot bark or move.
When he opens his eyes,
He takes it all in, what has become of him,
His people, whom he loves,
Moving through such familiar rooms,
The small cat who dances by,
These things are his to keep.
Is he diminished?
He thinks not.
He says, I have known love
They touch my fur with love.
I have not sold my soul
For a safe haven, a handful of bones.
And yet, in dreams,
He is running free
And his people stream behind him
Like flags, like wind-tossed rags
Who will catch up with him
When he gets where he is going,
When he once more
Knows what he has always known.
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