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Billy Collins - Dharma

The way the dog trots out the front door
every morning
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her doghouse
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.

Who provides a finer example 
of a life without encumbrance—
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Gandhi with his staff and his holy diapers?

Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose, 
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail.

If only she did not shove the cat aside
every morning 
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment she
would be,
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager 
for a rub behind the ears,
so acrobatic in her welcomes,
if only I were not her god.

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 22643 times | Comments and analysis of Dharma by Billy Collins Comments (20)

Dharma - Comments and Information

Poet: Billy Collins
Poem: Dharma
Volume: http://www.bookmagazine.com/issue18/poetics.shtml
Poem of the Day: Aug 10 2011

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