Dogs are natural scavengers They have the stomach for it I remember Beth swallowed some decaying squirrel whole Its tail hanging out of her mouth for the longest time Nothing ever became of it I always wondered where the deer went when they died The forest was always a pantheistic land of wonder As the snow tickled our noses Lexie was nowhere to be found I laughed it off and yelled for her Then yelled and yelled Then ran and abruptly stopped Lexie tenderly edging toward the deer carcass Shy even Then the bump on the bridge of her nose appeared A couple months later, in an unusual spring heat Lexie leaves the trail With a straightforward earnestness We walk an unfamiliar side–path Cross an undiscovered stream Another carcass prone to the sun A vulture crouched in an adjacent tree Impatient for our departure The bump on her head reappeared at the top Lexie was given two months to live And, at that other river, Her jaw too weak to grip the large branches so much a part of her This third carcass Peaceful, laying amid the thorns One does not begrudge one condemned to death to take their fill of death Not one lick of impropriety We filled our days with walks We denied ourselves none of our walks We partook Peace
In the dawn of humanity, we crowned you with stories of how meaningful you were. Grown clever and independent, we decried you with critical analysis: you are just a ball of hot gas. Now that I’ve seen your dark side, after I’ve recovered from the shock — neither I nor you, nor our galaxy are the center of the universe — Let me embrace you as in my youth. Let me swoon in your warmth. Let me re-understand the truth of your fairy tales. Let the life you created and nurtured reciprocate.
It’s a pleasant night First one in a while I haven’t taken Lexie fetching for a while either — overworked So, instead of taking a right we take a why not Can’t see a moon to light our way but the suburb lights reflect in the pink clouds Park closed at dark Park Authority I'll tell them I didn’t see I don’t even know if she’ll want to fetch She’s all sniffs I let her off leash — no running to the stream As we pass it by She shyly deviates tween path and brook Only when I go off–path does her tail wag and her feet scamper to water I᾿m surprised to find the stream half–frozen a sheet of ice spreads towards the middle No sticks around, so I climb onto the tree fallen across the stream and fetch one there amidst the debris Will she need daylight to see or is it some other sense? I throw it into the stream and she fetches it back I throw it in again; she’s taking a while she needs daylight, I guess Here comes Lexie dragging this mythical log Strange, pure, hewn branch from the river bottom Not waterlogged, just heavy in solidity She can’t even drag it out of the water just up to the shore and tears off half its bark in one bite So, over and over, mythical log to be dredged from the bottom of icy river on beautiful night Headlights peek at me for a while and fade an ambulance siren blares a police copter circles around Mocking my fears — no one cares Lexi scampers around the sheet of ice not finding the branch in the depths “Get it!” I cheer, and she goes in and drags it out again
Not everyone needs to be overwhelmed by thunder and lightening Something tender and familiar strong but approachable We wink at one another and smile at how crafty such a powerful being in love is Considerate, rather