There was no dog this winter

2006

there was no dog this winter

there was no slipping on the ice

there was no ice stuck between her pads

no crashing across the hard-froze top of the night-old snow

there was not the black warmth of my long-time dog

nor cold nose

nor laying in snow as i charged up my bike

no extra chicken necks and extra-pained hips

no pattering, no hesitating in the ice-slick foyer tile

no silent pain from my ever-silent dog

whose every claw clench on the hard-froze sent shocks into her hips

and she

not a word

and she

not a tear

and she

walked off not

she did not abandon

she did not retreat to an under-tree to die

she merely lay under the glass desk

her chin on my feet, said

“you know the medicines are insufficient …

“you know that it is my soiling on the bed

and i, i am so ashamed, please forgive me

but i do enjoy the window while you at work

“and the stairs are full of scares

for i see only dimly now

and the depths are not defined and my eyes, well, they trick me