the dogs

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I figured you would never see another summer
but might see fall if we could hold your heart
together, could shore you up a little
longer, if we propped and patched, if we
braced the chambers of your sagging heart

and we walked together under the trees where you took
your first walk on wobbly puppy legs, and now on legs unsteady
from bones worn down to the quick, and you widened the circle
of our course to walk a little farther and finally sagged
almost to the ground and couldn't walk any more

and we had to go to that room where you wouldn't get out alive,
and the moment came when you had one breath left and then
the breath was gone, the bottom penny of a fortune all spent,
and I felt your breathing on my ear and then didn't feel it any more

and sometimes I wander our old haunts, made strange now
by you and the other ghosts I see springing through the tall grass
and reveling in the wild heaving of lungs and a riot of heartbeats.

– Randy Wilson