I Can Hear You

I run with headphones. It’s my way
Of muting what my muscles say
When what I’m asking them to do
They’d rather not continue to.
It doesn’t make me deaf: I hear
Those cars approaching from the rear
Or just around the bend ahead;
I hear the X-ing of the Ped
Who’s overtaking me, and I
Am not surprised when bikes go by.
Quite honestly, it baffles me
When people say I’ll never see
The train that hits me if I’m in
My headphone bubble. Nonsense! When
I’m running, I’m hyper-aware
Of my surroundings. I don’t care
If you’re a pup with velvet paws,
I’ll hear you stalking me because
I just assume that you’re distracted
Or, what’s worse, that you’re attracted
To my stylin’ running togs
(‘Cause “stink” equates to “great” for dogs),
Which means it’s up to me to keep
Us both upright and safe. Your Jeep
With SatNav, Bluetooth, dashboard phone
And A-C makes you more alone
In your world than I am in mine.
Don’t sweat my headphones. I’ll be fine.

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Running Dog

A “running dog” can be construed
As epithetical and rude
By those who’ve studied Poly Sci
Or Rhetoric; please know that I
Am being literal, in fact.
No hidden codes here need be cracked.

Nor am I referring to
The fun-size sort of pet that you
Might carry in a fanny pack
Or by a handle on its back
But rather one who’d rather run
Beside you, and who finds it fun.

Explicitly, I mean a dog
Who finds more pleasure in a jog
To anywhere and back again
Than chowing down or sleeping in.
Through evening gloom or morning dew,
A running dog just runs with you.

That’s what I mean by the phrase.
I miss my running dog, these days.

Hypothetical Help Wanted

I need someone to walk my dog.
She’s cranky if she doesn’t jog
And has to hold her number two
But what’s a working man to do?
She isn’t real, but if she were,
My boss would still say No! to her.
Imaginary dogs don’t get
Enough respect. At least, not yet.