New York Dog Walker

"No arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

The Leviathan, Chap xviii

A lab, two retrievers, a rotweiler, a pekinese and three English terriers who weekend on Long Island lumber and prance through the streets, a cluster of relief at lunch hour, panting and pawing behind a man whose livelihood depends upon delivering freedom on a leash in the mid-day to Upper East Side dogs.

 

He strides briskly in front of the pack—

his unshaven face casual, mind intent

on the business of the daily circuit.

Through the busy sidewalk,

the crowd parts for him

like the bow of a barge on the Hudson,

calm, procedural, political—

 

while all chaos of canine trails him

in his wake, like our grave worries we barely keep at bay, he, as much as they, lashed to a state of mind,

as if even the sprightly pekinese might be thinking of Hobbes, as if this might be

the least of the human lot:

to perform with love boring daily

acts with damned happy beasts.