Matched Socks

The golden light and syrup heat

Of 5 p.m. in late July

Go suddenly cold and thick

Like oatmeal left too long.

 

I responded to some internal clock

Without thought,

Stopping my task and walking to the kitchen.

Ready to make your dinner.

 

We buried you yesterday morning

In a grave I made for your still form,

Curled tail and paws arranged as if in sleep,

A velvet ear against the clay bed.

 

I realize with the pain of a wound that no longer bleeds

That I will never again be called

To take you up the street and get the news.

Nor prepare your dinner, scratch an itch, wake at 2 a.m.

 

For the rest of my life, my socks will match.

My time is all my own, with no calls upon it.

And the cavern of agony that entails

Has no language for relief.

 

I stare at the half-finished pot of your soup,

Remember your bright expression

Cajoling me to reveal yet more treats.

Feel the absence of my Dingo-shaped shadow.

 

Time is undone by sudden motion,

A tuft of your dark undercoat

Moves along the baseboard

The silent testament of Loss.

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