on and life continues
with or without our participation.
Because of this, I selectively choose
to let loose memories,
fall leaves blushing red, gold, yellow
before browning on the ground.
Still those composted fragments remain,
great beast led slowly down the hill
by my weeping husband,
velvet muzzle grasping bits
of carrot even then,
gentle eyes dull and weary,
ready for the long rest.
Laid him low
and the terms were easy,
kindness all around and sacred,
oblivion in a syringe
as he reeled, slow motion,
into prepared earth.
How quickly it all surges back,
billions of impressions like bright pulsars
in a pitch black sky,
dancing all around my greying head;
selective vision; now to witness,
and who is to say
what merits attention
in this moment?
(Written in response to Maxine Kumin’s ”The Taste of Apple,” bringing Pete’s death back as if it happened yesterday – the gift of great poets.)