The Prayer of the Dog




I keep watch!

If I am not here

who will guard their house?

Watch over their sleep?

Be faithful?

No one but you and I


what faithfulness is.

They call me, “Good dog! Nice dog!”

Words . . .

I take their pats

and the old bones they make me happy.

I take kicks too

when they come my way.

None of that matters.

I keep watch!


do not let me die

until, for them,

all danger is driven away.





Prayers from the Ark

 by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold

Translated by Rumer Godden