Alex Colville Dog and Priest 1978

Alex Colville, Dog and Priest (1978) National Gallery of Canada

This dog collar weighs heavily around my neck

reminding me of the burdens I carry.

Burdens of loyalty and love

companionship and wisdom

goodness and everlasting care.


I’ll sit here for as long as he does

for I am here to serve

to be alongside

through the good times

and the bad.


To feel his presence near me today

is enough.

I don’t need to touch him

I just need to know that he is close.


I wait to serve

and the waiting grows inside me

like a bud waiting to bloom

waiting to be sure

of what he is asking of me

waiting to hear where I can serve.


For serving is my mission.

And all I require in return is love,

a gentle hand of blessing

from time to time

and grace will keep me at his side.


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