who didn’t know any better, sat perfectly still—naively watching
the large black dog that rummaged curiously through the blossoms for him.
Too young to fend for himself, I gave him his own little mansion
complete with a wheel, free rides in my shirt pocket
and fresh fruit each night—
mostly red grapes, those were his favorite, except for the peel.
He left those behind.
After six years with me, and for one last time,
he climbed into my hand and closed his eyes.
The next morning, as the sun rose,
I tucked him back into nature’s fold
under the azalea bush with pale pink blooms.