Friendship II

Shall I compare thee to a little dog?
Thou art more suited-fit for life than this!
And but in jest I dare pursue such talk
To hint at layers yonder mine eye sees.

For what is life if not a fenced-in play
Where fenced-in dogs parade unhappily
Yet seldom one of them goes 'stray
Leaps to a life outside such petty irony.

And old it grows to see what any leap
Of faith and faithfulness has brought to ripe
The only dog, white nose - yet not a sheep! -
Its fur still shining, albeit its scars and stripes.

As man's best friend, my dog of many days
Has never failed to lead its friend new ways.

(To J.A.N.J.)