In a previous post, a profile of my dog Roma, I said that she has no BDPFs (Best Dog Park Friends). She's an old lady now and creaky in the bones, so she does not really wrestle or hang out with other dogs. In her middle years, though, she was fond of a Basenji named Pearl. Pearl was fiesty, stubborn, fast on her feet, and years younger than Roma, but they were great pals. Pearl was killed a few years ago after being attacked by a coyote while walking with her owners on the Greenbelt. I wrote a poem in Pearl's honor for her ash-spreading, which took place at Dog-Park. In it, I tried to imagine the situation from Roma's point of view.
why don't you come to Dog Park anymore?
I wait, endlessly patient,
in the gnat-thick heat,
sphinx-posed on pee-parched grass,
surrounded by fools.
"I hear, but don't believe, the story,
retold countless times, like headline crawls,
'Conquered by Coyote,' 'The Gaping Wound,'
'The Race to the Vet,' 'She Rallies!,' 'The Merciful Release.'
They say you charged up that hill like paparazzi on deadline
and then slipped out of the leash of life
like a British princess in a black Mercedes.
You are just as missed.
"I don't know where you are, Pearl dear, but I hope
the squirrels are slow and juicy there,
the limestone creeks are shallow and swift, and
the kibble is always from cans.
Godspeed and good hunting, my friend."
June 2006/ March 2009