For The Dogs In Our Lives

tail wagging, little bum wriggling,
tongue slurping on my hands and face
body curving in goofy demented joy –
eight pounds of bliss and bounce

squealing and scurrying to his
favorite toy, giving it a
shake to show who’s boss,
hurrying back in shaggy delight

I launch the sock knotted in two
and watch his euphoria embrace
even the air we breathe; playtime
bursts open and we frolic in glee

with a jump and a quiver he lands
on my lap – the cumbersome day
peels off my skin and I hold the
gleaming sun close in my hands



My mother’s hands rest on green,

the color of a blanket

I place across her lap,

the one she would use

while watching t.v.

the one she clutches as

we watch for the ambulance

while the night grows black.

My feet step on black,

the color of rubber mats

placed at a hospital door

to soften the entrance

of bodies hurrying

past white lights shining


I don’t stop for white

nor rest by it.

I walk until there are

no colors left

except black –

the sound of the

doctor sitting next to me

the night my mother died.


Grief doesn’t descend
as a single gray cloud.

It takes its time.

It slowly blinds
you with soft
falling ash,
and enters your pores
like a dying mist.

It settles in
your throat as
a burning wind,
and rips at your lungs
like rabid ghosts.

It burrows its way
like a blind vole
under the surface
of your days
leaving hollow trails

It scrapes across
your body, etching
scars only you
will ever see.
“I’m fine,” you say

And smile.



(originally posted on