Winter Cruz

You look so pitiful now,
scrutinizing rheumy eyed,
your mantle all in tatters.
Yet you remain you
despite the absent hair,
lost teeth,
buggered bladder
that pees you through the night,
blood and urine mingled
like watered-down wine,
and the rest of all the breaking down
insistent age demands.

You remain you,
regally indifferent,
asleep until the busyness
of the later afternoon,
when you wake,
take up your charge,
and keep us safe:
Sentry of the Patio;
Defender of the Lawn; 
fierce argument against
cyclists, joggers, 
walkers of the park,
and all the other passersby.

Sable autarch,
with a bark even in retreat,
you still have one ambition:
To shit the shit that is complete,
colon conquered finally
by your subjugating will.
Only then will your eyes close
to sleep a monarch’s sleep;
an old dog at last at rest.

Patriarch of fur and paw,
who will protect us when you are gone?
Who will keep us safe
from the white-haired women
waiting for the bus?
How will we go on
in a world of threat and hazard,
and oh so many people passing by our windows,
and us, alone inside,
without your guardian eyes?

August 9, 2017

2003 to 2017

Originally published at

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