A small thunder wakes me from a light sleep and my first thought is—
The dogs are barking.
A small creaking in the floor interrupts me and I think—
The dogs are on their way.
It is not long before I sit up and hear the rain.
My dogs aren’t barking. My dogs aren’t here.
I think about their last days, lying uncomfortably on a couch,
blinking “I love you and I’m sorry” at me.
One day, my neighbor stood outside the window with a lawn mower.
My dogs stood up, paws on the windowsill,
tails wagging, alerting the world of their momentary wellness.
Look at me, look at us! I imagine they were saying. I cried quietly knowing the truth that being a dog protected them from.
It was hard to write an elegy from that couch.
I sat between them and they were dying.
I thought maybe that was elegy enough.
I wish my grass grew so fast that it had to be cut daily,
then maybe my dogs would still be there barking.
As it begins to rain, I close that window, turn off the light
and say I love you. The thunder responds with a bark.
Angel Rosen is a queer poet who is passionate about psychology, Amanda Palmer, and friendship. She has published two poetry collections, Aurelia and Blake. This poem is dedicated to Houdini and Doodle who are loved and missed everyday. angelrosen.com - Twitter: @Axiopoeticus - Instagram: @Axiopoeticus