Monday, August 27, 2012

Eulogy for my dog.

More than a month ago I had to put down my dog Tango. My husband and I lived with him for 9 years and in the end he suffered from extreme separation anxiety. This was my first experience of this kind of loss and grief and the first time I have had to euthanize a pet. I am still struggling to come to terms with it, and I'm sure there will be many pieces of writing that will eventually bring me to find my peace. Here is the first.


After you realize that no drug, no technology, no person,
can save the one you care for;
in the moment you accept
there is no help against this sickness, you are no superhero,
and there will be no rescue
from the responsibility of this day,
a day when suffering is measured by the drop
and a reckoning of bare rational scales will not balance--
and--Love defects.

It’s like a second-hand coat: tattered, worn--
shaped by a dear life of memories--
that has stains you'd rather not think about--
that is frayed at the edges with too many strings you know not to pull--
that is familiar--
instead, Turns.
Reveals magician sleeves
and the tucked-away secret now held with purpose:
this cold solution, this sharpest point.
Love crosses the battle line
to ally with forces clamoring for death.

It's a whip-lash,
and it will leave you raw.
A small creature skinned of its
Twitching to feel the world suddenly inside-out.
Here, a keen tooth scrapes along everything soft in you,
hunting it down with dreadful skill.

Be prepared: you may wish you were never tender.
You may imagine yourself, alone,
the only member of a bruised planet.
Or you may find the courage
to hold this hard truth to the center of your chest, where,
unprotected, you will feel the utter warmth,
powering the heart of the final breath given.