Mourning Mojo

This morning I was going to paint
a red and yellow mindscape
but wake to a puppy’s hungry yips
and my old black dog on three legs
licking death’s huge ear. I hunch
to become her fourth leg and limp alongside.
My mind travels over her silken spine,
recently narrowed slow hips, deep
into unfathomable canine bones,
seeking some light or dark thing
over which to rest or wring my hands.
First she lies in the shallow hole she dug,
always digs, in the flower bed between violets
and lavender in early summer, serious
with dignity, facing foundation wall,
averting her gaze.  The lanky puppy sniffs
the patient face he normally playfully nips.
Wondering what he knows, I know.
Next, she is missing. Not behind the woodbox
or lilacs. I wonder did she translate to light.
I peer down the flight of basement stairs,
enter the unlikely place.  There, she fills
the farthest shadow, a leaning sphinx
looking at the crumbling wall. I crawl to her,
join my dark to hers, wait in her wet fur.

13 July 2011

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