I still

Pause by the door, expecting your snore

I halt in the hallway, kill the words on my lips

I call for a name that no longer exists.



She left and part of me went to sleep

I’m undone by four paws and a worn-out red collar

My faithful companion, lifelong friend

Thank you for loving me with all your strength to the end.

She took all my comfort with her

All the security of her protective grace.

Almost two decades of fears quelled by my tireless guardian

Watchful sentry, ageless soldier;

Furry tissue, perfect confidante

The best friend anyone could want

That old gray muzzle

Will never


My heart. I’ll love you forever

I can still feel you by my side (curled up perfectly like most winter nights)

Someday I may stop weeping

But tonight, the first night I face under this roof without your warm, snoring presence (my earliest memory is your excitement as we chose you at the pound; eighteen years is a long time for you to have been around)

The tears will flow until they irrigate the desert valleys you left inside my heart.

I can’t imagine life without your loyalty and bark

Someone tear this pain from me



Less miserable

Once I was crying very hard
And the sobs shook my bony frame
(Not small, mind you, just
And my family was there, trying to
Comfort me, trying to
Help me feel better
But for all their efforts I felt worse.

And then our tiny
Five pound
Feisty angry unfriendly-to-strangers,
Scraggly stumpy wiry (pretty bony herself)
Absolutely itty-bitty dog with a Napoleon complex,
She came and nosed me and sniffed my tears and pawed at me and whined and worried and eventually curled up on my lap, all bones and black fur and radiating warmth,
And I kept crying
but I felt less miserable, you know?

Amazing Miniature Creature

The little tiger climbs his cage,
Mewling loud in tiny rage.
His itty paws are clawed and sharp,
And mini eyes glow bright and harsh.

Little tiger wants his dish,
Wants blood and scales and salty fish.
His appetite is cut and ripe,
Jaws are poised to tear and bite.

What little tiger doesn’t know,
He’s itsy though his temper grows.
Ferocious beast is still in fact,
Nothing but an orange-striped cat.