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dog's last days
dog streaked across my youth like the sleek black shadow of expiring time...
by john doe
6.21.01
writing


Dog is old now,
But she was young once --
And what a creature
The bounty of
a boy's impulsiveness
Picked from "free puppy" crate
one day
(probably sunday)
Dog came home

When we nurtured Dog, she grew
The chrysalis emerged
fifty fierce pounds
of labrador and pit bull muscle --
chiselsed, smooth obsidian
Pedestrians arced wide
to dodge the thick-necked beast
Dog and I laughed
Dog shined

Dog ran through streaming sprinklers
without exception --
Never missed the chance
to chase a squirrel
who’d overstepped his bounds
And cats,
well,
Dog gave no quarter to cats

When I packed my bags
and left home for good
Dog was middle aged, and wise --
I looked back
expecting a betrayed look from Dog
(like when you give ‘em only half a milk-bone)
But Dog smiled,
watching me
from beneath the coffee table

Dog wagged her tail
and winked at me,
sending me on my way
And I said good-bye to boyish things
like Mom, and Dog,
and innocence --
You and me...
We'll never understand
the holy love of dogs

Dog is retired now,
relaxing in upstate New York
She’s given up sprinklers,
and no longer threatens
the local squirrel population

These days
Dog favors quiet nights
and fireplaces
Powerful jaws that once
pulverized beef bones,
and petrified felines,
now delicately, slowly,
extract soft food from the
personalized bowl she earned through
many years of faithful service

Dog still wags her tail
when I come to visit
Though she can't hear me come in,
and she can't see that I too
have gotten older
And when guests drop by,
she still knows when to lick
and when to growl
Dog's instincts pierce thin veils
Sensing intentions --
I trust Dog's judgment

Dog streaked across my youth
like the sleek black shadow of expiring time
And I know these are
Dog's last days --
And Dog knows too

Dog is old now,
But she was young once,
And man, you should’ve
seen
her
run


ABOUT JOHN DOE



more about john doe




COMMENTS

roger striffler
4.30.01 @ 3:48p

I think most dog owners will really appreciate this. There are a couple of really classic lines, my favorites being, The bounty of a boy's impulsiveness and especially, dog streaked across my youth like the sleek black shadow of expiring time That line stands well on its own, a poem in and of itself.

james pearce
5.1.01 @ 1:23p

great poetry! poor old dog. dog almost gone. dog gone.

adam kraemer
6.21.01 @ 9:31a

This poem captures a life perfectly.

tracey kelley
6.21.01 @ 12:00p

Long ago, a Christian rock/pop group called "PFR" did a beautiful tribute to one of the members' dogs called "Goldie's Last Day." Their video featured them taking Goldie on a "doggie vacation" = to the beach, to the park, eating all her favorites foods, playing all day with the boys...because she was dying of cancer. It was a real tearjerker - as is this. Great job.



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