Goodbye Blackie

Harder than mourning sometimes
is parting – the finality of death
would seem almost reassuring
by comparison – or so I note
with every stroke printing on my palm
the sleek of your shiny coat – oh
how I love your velvet ears, my Velveteer.

I’m trying hard as well, to tell myself
better this goodbye – with your lean flank
still warm to my touch, your frame
still strong – better than some…
inevitable road accident.

The tear too, is for me as much as you –
I am old, Blackie, too old for young dogs
who outweigh and outwrestle me.

A giant bone to gnaw in the shelter
and all the road there strewn
with seaswells of hope
you will soon be adopted …
by a young man who can care for you
properly…you be good doggie, eh?

Wretched business, this, when the best
I can say is I’m lucky to have only one photo
of Blackie-the-pup’s nose in the snow.

.

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