Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Blonde by Joe Cottonwood

She went out easy.
With previous dogs, there came
a moment of spiritual shudder,
sometimes a visible struggle.
Not here. Under my touch
I feel the chest rise, fall, rise.
And rise no more.
Without a sound the heart rests.
A border crossed,
as if she welcomed the end
of cancer’s grip.

I tuck dog legs against dog body.
They are immediately
different, dead weight
utterly unlike a living limb.
Her eyes remain half open
as she so often slept.
She seems half-alert in death.
Still she is warm and has
that marvelous maple fur,
the only blonde
I’ve ever loved.

Joe Cottonwood has worked as a carpenter, plumber, and electrician day by day for most of his life. Some jobs were pretty; some, shitwork. Nights, he writes. Same split.

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