The Ball

The dog gets his ball. Fetch! I say and let go.
He runs he jumps; he plucks the green orb from the air.
He runs to my side.
Again! His eyes cry.
Instinct is all, says the ghost of my father.

I raise my arm, the dog pauses; he judges the height of my arm.
He knows better than I, where it will land.
He rushes forward and beats my slow pitch,
Saving his treasured ball from the ditch.
Instinct is all, says the ghost of my father.

I smile, laugh and hug my friend.
I bend down to kiss his nose and shake his paw.
His great brown eyes bless me and say…
Mightn’t we have more time to play?
Instinct is all, says the ghost of my father.

My kind came from the wilds dressed as wolves,
To share your fire and hot food, to give you love, even if undue.
You owe us nothing…
But please throw the ball!
Instinct is all, says the ghost of my father.

When we play, we bond, we become one with you.
We know the tilt of your arm and abilities too.
Most of all we know your love.
For to play is to teach and to teach is to love. . .
At the end of each day. . .

Instinct is not all. . . My friend.

Heather Jones -- 2004