Quick to his haunches he crouches low –rear up
jerks to and fro anxiously panting ready to dive in.
The sun beats down reflecting
back in sharp shards
from the deep dark muddy river.
Tracing bank edge with his nose
he backrolls into the crusty mud
sloughing off his city coat.
Splashing in, with only the tip of tail and nose
breaking surface, his head is low
in the murky underworld.
Above the gentle James unfolds its veil
as patterns of current
sweep the geese downriver
to some other heaven.
Suddenly he springs back to the bank
shaking loose soaked fur,
baptizing me with a tail thumping
hymnal and a howlsong.