Tuesday, June 2, 2009


it’s strange to think about
what the animals think about
for so long
take a tortoise
living for a hundred
or two hundred years
having their little thoughts
in their big heads
for more than a half century
my childhood dog
is checking out right now
I wonder what she’s been thinking about
for the last seventeen years
probably not too much
my mother called me up
I could tell she was crying
“she’s stopped eating and drinking,”
she said. “this is the end for her.”
she was a black lab
but more than that
she was a thief
an outlaw
and a drifter
she’d often steal one shoe
and leave the other
to remind you
how you’d been robbed
she’d leave for days at a time
and as soon
as we’d given her up for dead
she’d show up
like everything was normal
go right to her food bowl
and sniff around
she sure as hell did march
to her own drum
even though she hasn’t been able to hear
for years
we’d have to pound
and stomp on the floor
to get her attention
then she’d come hobbling over
on arthritic legs
oh, Flora
with her fantastic snarling grin
which I hear she wears to this day
so that’s how I’ll remember her
a smiling, thieving, rambling bitch
grin in peace, little girl

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