There we were
in a snug swing
Watching the west
from our friend’s parent’s porch
the most hospitable folks
even in their absence
We had nothing to do
to read, to go to, to be, to talk about
nothing to do but be alive
We drank wine
and watched the birch row swaying in
come what may
and laughed at being alive
At being full up. To the brim. With love.
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
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