To a Dog on the Beach

As you skid over pebbles and
pad through the sea’s edge, you
will not notice the piled
clouds like mountains in China.

You will not notice the shells which
spell out incantations or the salt wind
which whites them out. You could not
predict you’d end up here.

But the guesswork is not what matters.
As your fur twitches, as your
nose glistens, and you smile
involuntarily to sweat out the March sun,

don’t underestimate what this
day will mean to you. Know that this sea
is the one and only sea,
dance on the beach before

the water strips it out, bound
through the diagonal tide in the sun
and wash your paws in these colours
that stride over the sea towards you.