Brandon K. Nobles – Driftwood, 2011

If every dog has it’s day,
Then each must have it’s last;
I do not pray nor barter make
For this agony to pass.

Once and old dog, white and brown,
In the skeleton of an old car found
Alone and with her young—
Who bounded lively—bounded dumb,
one puddle to another from,
in their abandoned house next door,
they called out in the thunderstorm.

Some were foaming at the mouth by then,
like bubbles in a river basin;
the abandoned shack of egg shells cracked,
the mocking birds—their nest had fled;
leaving the puppies all but dead,
calling out they sang,
in the darkness of the summer sang.

We took the same walk every day,
through the forest to our secret place;
the ghost dog at my heels;
through golden meadows, rolling hills.
All the way there, on the way back,
as though along a sliding track.
No one could forget the dance,
when dominoes fall by happen-chance—
one rope down, but no rope back,
fear we have but hope we lack.

The dogs, those puppies, flitted past,
playing in the knee high grass;
One thing is true, and all things pass;
they stumbled but to fall.
I tried to save not one, but all,
careened over the waterfall.

I tried so hard to save them but
saved only the one, the runt, the mutt;
puppet was her name and just—
amazing are the things we love.
Amazing still what brings us pain,
when the dog went down the drain
the moment gone it froze in time—
the difficult maze leads to the same place,
through many different lines.

Baby seals climb up the rock,
slippery from the waves they drop;
and forever they try still,
always struggling up the hill.
The endless waves, they strike them down,
and from the ground—the young, they crawl
onto the rock again to fall,
to thoughtless waves that take us all.

Memories are all that’s left,
plucked notes from the treble cleft
that resonate through time;
with that dog they laughed,
with that dog they played—
‘round and ‘round and down the drain.
It wasn’t just a dog that died,
what died was part of me.
past rocks and boulders, fallen trees,
we’ll make it out to sea.

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