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missing her

Marika getting some love.

Today I saw a Vizsla tearing around a field, in search of whatever ecstasy of smells she was discovering, and I was reminded of my beloved Marika. 


Without Dog


She won't eat,

drinks only small

sips from the bowl I hold

oiut to her.


Please, I say, please.

She attends earnestly,

panting, watching the air.




I learn to stick the neeedle

quickly. I learn

to do it in the dark.


One hand holds an IV bag

high, for pressure,

the other slips the needle in.




After a week

she walks again, around the block,

to the school yard.


No rules now--

I feed her hot dogs,

I feed her chicken fingers.


She runs in the woods.





And then one day

she won't lie down, won't

rest her head between her paws.


When I reach to stroke her

she startles and pulls away.

She keeps herself alert,

head raised, listening,

till she falls into an exhausted sleep




from which she wakes 

to stagger around the room,

listing to one side,

bumping into walls.


Do you want to go outside?

I say. I say,

Let me give you the world.




UPS leaves a yellow slip in the door,

Sorry we missed you.

I stick it on the fridge


and when it falls to the floor

the sound of paper



makes me turn and think

She's back.




I dream her young

and healthy

but still

she hesitates, outside

a dog door we never had


until she gathers herself

and leaps, landing


in our kitchen.

She scrapes her nails across the floor,


and tries it again

and again,

what a show-off,

out, in--I can watch


forever, her body


for the jump, then

launched, ears flapping--


out, in,




(This poem oringally appeared in Tar River Poetry and then in my book, Dinner with Emerson.)


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