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The first day you bring him home, hold the little street pup in your arms while he trembles and trembles. Reassure him you’ll be good to him. Tell him you’ll try to make every day a happy day. Make some food for him and watch him gobble it. Worry about his silence; why doesn’t he ever make a sound?
Two weeks in, leap when you hear a sharp and insistent bark. Turn from the stove to behold an unblinking, time to go for a walk gaze. Realize he hasn’t trembled or prostrated himself on the floor at the sound of his name in at least a week.
Two years in, sing him a good morning song when he wakes up. Race up and down the stairs playing I’m gonna get you until your heart pounds. Structure your time around runs and walks and visits to the dog park. Make room in the bed. Make room on your lap. A dog fills a dog-sized hole you didn’t know was there.
A Small-Sized Mystery, by Jane Hirshfield
Leave a door open long enough,
a cat will enter.
Leave food, it will stay.
Soon, on cold nights,
you’ll be saying “Excuse me”
if you want to get out of your chair.
But one thing you’ll never hear from a cat
is “Excuse me.”
Nor Einstein’s famous theorem.
Nor “The quality of mercy is not strained.”
In the dictionary of Cat, mercy is missing.
In this world where much is missing,
a cat fills only a cat-sized hole.
Yet your whole body turns toward it
again and again because it is there.
Click here for more information about Jane Hirshfield.
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