Letting Go

The service road moved under the carriage of my car

Jostling hours away along the wood

Up where no one would hear, I was sure

in the gray area between foothills and mountain


I locked the doors, an urbanite out of place

Jack hobbled along as I climbed into a clearing


I wondered,  always

Sheepdog? Lab?


I drove the shovel into ground soft enough to dig easily

a necessity for some reason,

out where the wild things would certainly enjoy an easy feast.


I pulled two heavy objects from my pockets

squeezed the squeaky ball

I threw it out ahead of us into shrubs.

He didn’t go right off, right away.

He was always a smart dog.


Finally, he turned to see where his ball had gone.

The hammer slid into place.

I was close enough not to aim

the shot exploded from the hands that had raised him.


For hours I didn’t move.

I stood over Jack’s body

wondering; why I hadn’t

taken more time with him

and dug the hole first