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Michael Van Walleghen's Poetry

HAPPINESS

Weep for what little things could make
them glad

Robert Frost, "Directive"


Melvin,
the large collie
who lives in the red house
at the end of my daily run
is happy,
happy to see me
even now,
in February
a month of low skies
and slowly melting snow.


His yard
has turned almost
entirely to mud
but so what?


Today,
as if to please me,
he has torn apart
and scattered
everywhere,
a yellow plastic bucket
the color of forsythia
or daffodils


(NEW STANZA)

And now,
in a transport
of cross-eyed
muddy ecstasy,
he has placed
his filthy two front paws
together
on the top pipe
of his sagging cyclone fence


drooling a little,
his tail
wagging furiously,
until finally,
as if I were God's angel himself


fulgent,
blinding,
aflame
with news of the Resurrection,
I give him a biscuit
instead.


Which is fine with Melvin
who is wise,
by whole epochs
of evolution,
beyond his years.


(NEW STANZA)

Take
what you can get,
that's his motto


And really,
apropos of bliss,
happiness
and the true rapture,
what saint
could tell us half as much?


even as he drops
back down
into the cold
dogshit muck
he'll have to live in
everyday
for weeks on end perhaps
unless it freezes


whining now,
dancing
nervously
as I turn away
again,
to leave him there


(NEW STANZA)

the same today
as yesterday


one of the truly wretched
of this earth
whose happiness
is almost more
than I can bear.