The Truth about the Dog

The embryonic dog

Developed in my

Heart, loyal but

Unnamed, nourished with

Fatherhood, the soft

Beads of its

Spine a necklace

Looped around my

Bloodstream, absorbing oxygen

And memories of

Days spent with

My sons.  On

The fading afternoon

It finally gallops

Out tail flying

Like the windblown

Golden leaves of

Autumn, it springs

To catch small

Parts of myself

I have tried

To throw away.

Boys loyal to

Addictions that destroyed

Them.  A river’s

Bend, the deep

Pools filled with

Ghosts of drownings.

How we leaned

Into the wind

Until we almost

Fell.  The chill

Of a disease

A broom of

Pain that sweeps

Clean everything but

The desire for

An end.  The

Dog holds in

His mouth the

Broken leg bones

Of my sons.

He will not

Let me close

Enough to take

Them from him,

But he will

Not hide them

Either, or run

Away without me.