Seattle Dog: A Eulogy (#24 NaPoWriMo Prompt)

Baby Seattle Toy

Today you were there, just a glimpse.
The humanness in Matilda’s eyes,
The pause in Drover’s step at my command,
Reminded me. And I missed you.

M&D

Your little six-month paws at
Double-time to keep up for our slow jog.
Your tilted head when I left.
Your 9-month-year-old joy at my return.

Baby Seattle Dog crop

You were my relentless alarm clock of love.
My focus and my feeling.
You flew in the cargo hold to new lands.
Scaled castles near Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

Seattle Castles

You jogged with me
In Korea and Colorado,
In Turkey and on Turkey Trots
In Washington State and Washington D.C.

Seattle Gila Wilderness

You were there in my first year of the military
And in my fifteenth.
You watched me leave on each deployment.
You were the best part about coming home.

Seattle Dog

When the vet said “cancer,”
And the x-ray was dotted like pox.
You slept at my feet as I wrote my last dissertation chapter.
I guess I could only cry so much.

Hol Seattle and Me

You missed the conclusion.
Yours was at our dining room table.
The needle slipped in. Your feet
Paddled furiously, then infinite stillness.

Every morning a habitual side-step
To miss your sleeping form
Until we moved to a new house.
You, ashes in a wooden box.

Seattle Snow

Nearly a decade now, and there are two more
Kur-aaaay-zee blue heelers.
I know you would set them straight.
Remind them of the rules.

Matilda and Snowman

I wish you could meet Matilda,
She shares your intensity.
I wish you could meet Drover,
He tries his hardest to be a good dog too.

Drover and his monkey.jpg

I wish you could swim these mountain lakes,
Run the forested trails,
Bark at elk and deer and chipmunks,
Sleep pressed against me.

Seattle Regal

NaPoWriMo

The NaPoWriMo prompt for today was to write a positive eulogy. I don’t know if it’s “cheating,” but this spontaneous eulogy for Seattle Dog that I wrote in November fits the prompt and still moves me…

(And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy – a poem typically written in honor or memory of someone dead. But we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy that has a hopefulness to it. Need inspiration? You might look at W.H. Auden’s elegy for Yeats, which ends on a note suggesting that the great poet’s work will live on, inspiring others in years to come. Or perhaps this elegy by Mary Jo Bang, where the sadness is shot through with a sense of forgiveness on both sides.)

Mud Season

mvimg_20180410_084338.jpg

27 degrees–
Walking weather in mud season.
Wending down the road that just
Hosted skiers, snowmobiles, sleds.

Eight paws, two noses, four ears,
Electric.
Cracking from fox print to moose print
To last years elk carcass.

Spring sun sooths my shoulders.
Crisp air worries my ears.
Already the scale has tipped,
Favoring the roots stirring out of sight.

Release.
I can hear ice give way to water.
Water wending its way through ice,
Mixing with soil under the morning frost.

For a moment it’s the hard thud of
Galloping dogs.
Then sliding from ice to mud,
We trudge our way home.

Row 14, Seat F

MVIMG_20180305_175015.jpgJetting after the sunset,
A misplaced belief that our
Hurtling metal-light skin,
Buoyed by air,
Or hope,
Maybe belief,
Could outstrip time, itself.
Red flashing eyes score the nothing while
Wagon train ruts, now traced by
Sulphurous orange glows,
Score the destructive path of
Progress.
Shrouds of exhaust fumes
Exhaled from so many
Someones,
With someplace to go.
And I want.
I want.
For once my imagination
Outstrips what it knows,
Beating time, place, chronology,
Until the best of our
Pastpresentfuturefantasies
Converge in this moment.
Here in row 14, seat F.
There is peace on Earth.
With a side of
Goodwill to so many someones.