In the field by the lake he jerks at the lead

with all the vigor of his two years;

Even at a distance the Canada Geese

that have usurped this undulant expanse

sense his canine enthusiasm,

and all together now they rise,

like a ruffled quilt,

filling the sky momentarily, momentously,

before dropping again beyond the water’s

protective edge.

Oh Jake, Jake

Why do you look at me in amazement?

Yes, I know. You just want to play.

Well, don’t pull so hard.

Can’t you read those signs?

Pets must be leashed. It’s the law.

And I’m fully aware

that if I let you go, in a moment

you would be out there,

swimming with those birds

in the middle of the lake.

Lieberman writes: “My main preoccupation has evolved from surgical procedures to poetic ones, and to walking my dog, mostly on the paths in the woods at the Institute, becoming an observer, instead of a doer, partaking of foods for the intellect and feasts for the souls, that surround us.” He lives in Princeton.

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