In the August 2013 edition of the Rat Creek Press, I wrote a poem entitled Don’t send a poet to do a dog’s work, which was about our dog JoJo. Several weeks ago, we found out that he had cancer and he died. He was a wonderful spirit and a good friend to our family. Thanks, buddy.
I sit in the vet’s office, in a straight-backed chair,
as I watch the shadows miming stories behind the window blinds
I find myself projecting your life onto that shadowland.
You are a puppy
Your big paws and big ears- too large for your small body.
I remember you running in between the pine trees,
following the fence-line of our acreage
you moved in and out of the whispering shade,
the trees’ lower limbs, patting your back gently as you leapt with abandon,
diving under the pines and back into the light.
Outside this room, the outlined limbs of a tree scratches at the window,
the black silhouette beckoning.
I hear the doctor’s verdict in a far-off voice, you are dying,
like a skipped stone-never reaching the other side of the lake.
When I send my friend, Mary, a video of you
I type ” Video JoJo ” in the subject line.
We buried you there in the trees
on a day filled with light.
Picking up your beloved squeaky cow toy,
I still think that it is the worst excuse for a squeaky that I have ever heard!
I place it on top of your grave
the squeaking moan breaking the silence
making its way to my heart.