Long Leash for a Long Day

Whether you pause at a hydrant
designed for use in putting out fires,
or at a lamp post
designed for light in the midst of dark,

or at a bus stop
for use in moving, whether to where you want to go,
or away from where you’ve been, chosen to have been, forced to be,
and whether just this once, “please, we need you”, or “I need you”,

or “I order you”, or, (go back three windows, now),
forced to be because there was no other place you could be,
and so you’d been forced to stay but now you move–
At the very least you need a long leash for a long day.

Whether you pause for rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief;
(though in our culture, it’s more apt to be,
doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief; soldier, sailor, or even tailor,)
count the buttons on your shirt because:

the dog who trots beside you on his leash is actually your GPS,
and if you sigh and sicken, scowl, complain,
stay or leave, demand or pray, (stay in this window, now)
he’ll be the one to let you know,

how much it costs and who will pay,
but he’ll never tell you outright where to find relief.
Nevertheless, don’t omit to acquire
a long leash for a long day.