the hole (reprise)

Poem #23 from: Memoir of a Dog (final)

Back to Memoir of a Dog – Introduction


and today it ends
it’s over

I’m standing in a hole
in a garden bed
at the back of the house
I couldn’t bring myself
to make the journey with the rest of them
for the coup de gras

we are carrying our grief
solitaire

at least his struggle is over
and he doesn’t have to try to find breath
where there is no air
he doesn’t have to try to live
when living is too hard

the hole
is up to mid-calf
but I’ve got to go
a long way deeper yet
they will be here soon and sparky
that wonderful
ill-fated poodle
deserves a deep grave
so I am hurling the crowbar
with all my strength
into resistant soil
that is mostly clay
crumbling rock
and crushing despair

it’s hard work
and I can’t see
what it is that I’m doing
because I am crying
while I prepare
the first grave
I’ve ever had to dig
for a loved one

they have arrived
she backs the station wagon
to the gate
and he is lying on one of our best blankets
looks peaceful
with his eyes closed

we cover him and he is
surprisingly heavy when I raise him
in my arms
and carry him to the hole I have dug
lay him as gently as I can

we have chosen a nice spot
beneath a tree
in the back garden that was home to him
and after a moment
I begin covering the blanket
with a layer of dirt
until it has disappeared
and the hole
is filled

he is gone
we are all crying
each alone
and I think my heart
has finally broken

cross and flower 30%


© Frank Prem 2009

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