Golden Retrievals

(2007)

"Golden Retrievals" is the first song of Paul Salerni's Bad Pets. "Golden Retrievals" was published in 1998 in Doty's volume Sweet Machine: Poems.

Golden Retrievals
by Mark Doty


Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s—oh
joy—actually scared. Sniff the wind, then


I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,


or else you’re off in some fog concerning
—tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,


a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.


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