Nothing is pain like watching something age.
I remember the family dog standing up slower,
arthritis in the back legs.
It made my rib cage raw.
My family told me it was something that happened,
so when dad began to fall asleep before seven
call out of work & miss dinners
I wondered how comforting it would be if he knew
it was just something that happened.
The doctor did that for me,
after we rushed to the hospital when we found dad
passed out in the bathroom.
I wondered how the dog did it for so long.
The stiffness in my legs ached where it never had.
Never more than in those years
do I want to be a time traveler,
see how the dog managed so long
& say goodbye once more. Practice.
This is not about saying goodbye,
I’m not ready yet.
There will be a day when you’re too tired to make it up the stairs
& sleeping at the bottom will sound good enough.
I was awake in my room every morning
when dad carried the dog up to the kitchen.
He taught me to lift idols up
so I will.
*this is the fourth in a five-day series of poems The Opiate is publishing by Scott Sherman. Read Day 1 here, Day 2 here and Day 3 here.
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