Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sammi in Lamplight

Tonight, she wouldn't get up for her dinner; she ate it when we carried her to it. But, she still looks pretty good in tonight's lamplight, n-est-ce pas? Several vet visits have only established what the problem is NOT. Now they are thinking it might be some kind of soft tissue nerve tumor that is behind a bone and doesn't show on x-rays. She is much too old for exploratory surgery. We are giving her some time to see if she recovers, but she seems to be getting worse; can't get around or go up or downstairs. We carry her, holding carefully to the banister with one hand. It feels like we are saying a measured, slow goodbye.

Tonight another Ted Kooser poem from page 38 of
Winter Morning Walks;  one hundred postcards to Jim Harrison.

december 14

Home from my walk, shoes off, at peace.

The weight of my old dog, Hattie----thirty-five pounds
of knocking bones, sighs, tremors and dreams----
just isn't enough to hold a patch of sun in its place,
at least for very long. While she shakes in her sleep,
it slips from beneath her and inches away,
taking the morning with it----the music from the radio,
the tea from my cup, the drowsy yellow hours----
picking up dust and dog hairs as it goes.

This is the sort of extended conceit that can be done in a postcard poem,
following an idea (the sun) as it moves through the day

All I need to do is get started! And as Robert Frost says, "You come, too!"

The Pasture

I’m going out to clean the pasture spring;
I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.
I’m going out to fetch the little calf
That’s standing by the mother. It’s so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.

Robert Frost (1874–1963). from North of Boston. 1915.

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