And You . . .

a walk in a midwinter ochre wood
to get some england sun
as it steals away—
a little poodle runs to show you love;
you like the feel of the animal’s body
on your leg; it’s something
of an acceptance so you smile
and are not the least bothered; you even hope
it’ll jump, though the lady yells
no jumping Sam! no jumping!
and when she adds ‘you know he
just loves EVERYbody!’ why should you
suddenly feel tears coming?—
it’s just that EVERYbody; how do you
explain this? there’s nobody to explain
it to: why she needed to take away
from you this one feeling of special?
how could she know it was the most
human moment of your day—
the most human moment in weeks?

Copyright © 2024 by Jason Allen-Paisant. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 17, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.