Heart Warmers

Benjamin, Who Came From Who Knows Where

What shall I do?

When I pick up the broom, he leaves the room.

When I fuss with kindling, he runs for the yard.

Then he's back, and we hug for a long time.

In his low-to-the-ground chest I can hear his heart slowing down.

Then I rub his shoulders and kiss his feet

And fondle his long hound ears.

Benny, I say,

Don't worry. I also know the way the old life haunts the new.

- Mary Oliver