In Berkeley, I walked in gloom,
As if I had eaten a bowl of ashes, with ash milk,
With a spoonful of sugary ash.
I walked until my body began to crumble,
And a Volkswagen beetle, a rag-top,
Chugged up the hill, also made of ash,
With daffodils in these homely yards of ash...
Like a prophet, the driver had long hair and a beard,
And his companion in the passenger seat
Was a dog eating an apple, turning it over in its teeth
To get all sides, the entire world of sweetness.
When the dog viewed me from the corners
Of his eyes, I couldn't help but touch my heart.
I was grateful that I lived in his consciousness,
Even these brief seconds, which, in dog time,
Is something like twenty minutes in human time.
The blink of his eyelashes blew away the ashes,
Blew away my gloom.
The Volkswagen popped black exhaust,
Rattled up the street. In my happiness,
I went home and lay on the couch, hands behind my head.
I ate an apple, rotating it to get all sides
By juggling it in my teeth,
And thought, yes, this is a dog's life devoured
To its core and three seeds.
~ Gary Soto
Vintage image spotted here.