Dog and Man

David Sermersheim

Photo Credit: Devin Smith/Flickr (CC-by)

the man thinks
he is leading the dog
but the dog knows
the opposite is true

where the dog goes
the man follows
when the dog tarries
the man waits patiently

collecting warm souvenirs
the dog left
in its wake

a subtle reminder
of the man’s
function and presence

the dog has mastered
all of the tricks
of the trade

entangling himself around impediments
probing crack crevice and undergrowth
for evidence of those
who came before him

pausing at random moments
to leave his trace
off the beaten path

straining at the leash
like a kite
catching a whiff of air

hoping to pull free
bound off and away
leaving the man
holding the dangling leash


David Sermersheim taught at The Hotchkiss School (Ct.) for 33 years; has had poems published in the Aurorean, Ancient paths, Sacred Journeys, Cloudbank, Iodine Review, Everyday Poems, Writing Raw, Poetry Pacific, Poetry Superhighway, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Blue Collar Review, Miller’s Pond, Blueline, Oddville Press, Third Wednesday, Wild Goose Review and other journals and quarterlies. He was a MacDowell Fellow and has a book, Meditations, listed on Amazon. He lives in Westbrook, Connecticut. Email: dsermersheim[at]

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