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The dog is sleeping near the fireplace.
He’s been sleeping there for years.
A long time, really, for a dog.
He’s not dead. I checked.
He was just … overwhelmed?
It was all getting to be too much.
One day he nuzzled up against me
while I was sitting on the couch, reading.
I gave his head a pat and watched him
pad across the room to the braided rug.
He circled a few times, like he always does,
then settled in, paws crossed.
That was three, maybe four years ago.
I still use the living room, but I try to keep quiet.
No loud music, no sharp noises.
I fill his water bowl and food bowl every day.
Just in case.

/ / /

10 October 2023
Charlottesville VA

Published in My poems Poetry Politics & Activism


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