Old Age

Written by  Katharine Coles

In the abstract, you know this is
What you signed up for. With any specific dog—

The one who used to chase not her tail

But her self around the kitchen island; the one

Who wanted just to be with you, who even now
Can lie on her bed and look at you for hours,

Smiling—every moment is what
It is, so you won't imagine run

Will slow to trot, saunter, toddle; lunch
Wolfed will become lunch nibbled, not daintily

So much as without interest. Eating's another thing
She does to accommodate you, the way

She always has. For that, whatever
She can do, though things keep slipping off

The list: stairs, keeping kibble down, getting her rear,
So much slower than the front these days,

Out the door on time. One small turd just inside,
A little pile outside. Soon, she won't be able to lift

Her back legs clear of the sill. She'll wake up
Wet every morning and forget you

By afternoon. Until then, her eyes on you
Gazing. Her being, beamed entirely your way.


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