Carolyn Wing Greenlee

Connection

After nearly two years of trying to bond with my guide dog Hedy, she suddenly changed shortly before my husband’s death. Here is the poem I wrote about that experience.

••• Connection •••

Nearly two years
I’ve waited
looking in your small brown canine eyes—
do you see me
as more than
the food lady
who takes you good-smelling places
where you don’t get to eat?

I kept it strict—
no pet, no talk, no play,
no interaction of any kind
except with me
so I would be your everything
and you’d want only me
Black Stallion on the desert isle

You do your job.
In the long run
isn’t that enough?
It has to be.
I said yes to you
for better
or at least
for good

But Monday
as I sat trying to settle my soul with
the gorgeous wild horse,
elegant ebony grand piano legs
churning blue lagoon
following the boy
snuffing to fill his huge heavy head
with more of
whom he loved–
you came
snuffing,
rubbing your face in my lap,
butt up,
churning upside-down,
still snuffing,
then plopping,
still touching

did you know?

did you know it would be tomorrow?
the call before dawn
when it can’t be good?
when you sniffed the bed and wagged your tail
didn’t you know
he wasn’t really there?

do you know what it means to die?
do you understand beyond the vacancy of chair
comprehend within the wracking
wordless wait
as friends empty the room
honoring the airless unspeakable twist of fundamental universal nothing unusual consequence of birth
while I try to ignore the outrageous unreal disconnect from what has been for better
and worst
and worse

but in the blue of our own room
night of drizzle and no stars
no more thick cable of worry
stretching unbearably three hours north,
you come
sit before me
looking up

I kneel.
you put your
black as grand piano legs
on my arms
small round canine eyes
brown and
sad as mine

••••••

Carolyn Wing Greenlee

10-31-10, 11-3-10, 11-5-10, 1-29-11

© Copyright 2010 Carolyn Wing Greenlee. All rights reserved.

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