Distance

part of the National Poetry Month 2020 series

How does she decide how close is too close and how far
is far enough? How does anyone? There's a dog on our walks
who stands on the picnic table in his yard and barks.
There are many more who bark from inside their houses,
their favorite windows sympathetically vibrating. Today
the one that jumps, higher than I knew a dog could on two
legs, at his driveway's gate, was out as his family planted
in their front gardens. We all stared at each other
on opposite sides of the street. I and mine kept walking.
I called good morning to the family as they planted.
They called back and went back to planting, parents
and children acting as one unit, safe with the distancing dog.