stray dog by daido moriyama
The hair on the eartips of one dog turns back.
He looks like a wind god standing in his element.
Another dog, whose head sags under its own weight,
is so covered with mange and crusted dirt
it seems a chunk of earth rose and walked away.
The others are slow street dogs too weak
to run with the furious packs at night.
They push along behind the blind man who sells brooms,
nosing the sidewalks charted in his brain.
His old broad-knuckled hand grips patiently the cane's handle
as the point waves heart-beat taps all day on the concrete.
He shuffles rigid as stone feeling each step for the void.
The dogs follow with the same assurance as the cane that leads.
They know the darkness in his eyes is lonelier
than eating from a garbage can or running from a flying rock.
No one kicks them when they walk with him.
They prowl in the light under the black moon of his face.