When I heard this poem on The Writer's Almanac about a month ago, I immediately knew I had to memorize it. It is a fantastic poem, from beginning to end. Plus, it has "holy diapers" in it. Who ever knew there could be a wonderful poem with that phrase?
Dharma by Billy Collins
The way the dog trots out the front door every morning
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her doghouse
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.
Who provides a finer example
of a life without encumbrance--
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Gandhi with his staff and his holy diapers?
Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail.
If only she did not shove the cat aside every morning
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment she would be,
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager
for a rub behind the ears,
so acrobatic in her welcomes,
if only I were not her god.