Out Walking

He sets out early, the man with the dog.

The shapeless trousers bound with string,

and he holds his manuka stick high –

tap, tap, always the same speed, and the

collie is in step, glancing up, his coat

bouncing, flicked by the wind.

Man and mate, out again;

a circuit of The Downs; each knows the way.

A man of the land down from the hills.

He does not see the urban sprawl, just

changing light, slanting hills and gully drop.

Tap, tap, shiny stick, a dog hugging his knee.

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