Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Mute Sage

When the jar fell off the counter
and broke, our dog went to lick up
the honey but we were afraid she’d
cut herself on the broken glass.

You kept her back while I swept
up the slivers. Later that night,
it occurred to me that this is
what it is to be human: always
going for the honey while
tiptoeing around the glass.

The next week, it was so cold
that ice stuck to our dog’s pads.
We had to stop every block or so
to free her feet from clumps of ice.
This too was a lesson. For without
warmth, we cannot make our way.

As I write this, she dreams whatever
dogs dream and I keep looking for
whatever humans look for.

A Question to Walk With: Tell the story of an animal that has touched your life.

This excerpt is from my book of poems, The Gods Visit.


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