Tribute to a very good boy
It was something of a whim
that led me to that rescue page
But that’s where he summoned me toward him—
My handsome, floppy-eared, four-legged mage.
Before we met, he was to me
An idea, a promise, a plan of action…
To soothe the melancholic sea
Holding uncountable hours of delayed satisfaction.
But the moment he came to live in our home
It became clear he was none of those things.
He was instead a harbinger of a distant shalom
As are lions and lambs, robins and lacewings.
He showed it was possible to be filled to the brim
With delight in the sun or a walk or a swim
Immediately after a fight or a fright,
Immediately before turning in for the night.
He’s gone now from what Mary Oliver calls
“The world of particulars, the singular, the visible”1
But not from the pool of what my heart recalls
There, he lives on indefinitely, like an unsolved riddle.
If I close my eyes and stretch out my fingers,
I discover the way sensation lingers;
I feel the ultra soft hairs on top of his head,
The twitch of his paws as he dreams on his bed,
The warmth of the gaze of his citrine eyes,
His short rapid breaths as we say our good-byes.
Oliver, Mary. (2013). “Bazougey.” Dog Songs: Poems. New York: Penguin Books.