We’re both aging, my dog and I.
Differently, I do battle with each
pain of encroaching arthritis.
Stretch, lift as worry burbles up
and pours its deceit over everything.
Worry, if I stop moving I’ll never move again.
Fight up hill or be stuck on the flats
Tighten abs to descend the stairs
without holding on, testing, testing
Dog, his muzzle more grey than black,
just keeps going with me.
He stumbles up the hills
delighting in the smells of each bush.
His hurricane tail greets his leash
with constant enthusiasm.
His legs splay out mounting the stairs.
No sound, no dismay just up,
move on. His feet trip him up
on the kitchen floor. His crossed
back legs send his rear end crashing.
Through it all his plumed tail wags
its rhythm of delight.
Alive in a world of calling smells,
he doesn’t seem to mind if he doesn’t
hear me leave the room. He eventually
goes on the hunt. Dim eyes can’t find me
until I clap and yell his name. His tail
wags, he lays down content with his world.
For now, he knows where he is.
He knows where I am and
that is enough.
Janice Eskridge © 2015