For Elsa

by Lakshmi

the iron weight of your skeletal frame
in my trembling arms, as we pulled you
down from that horrible hideous hearse
my eyes were burning but i wept no tears
we held you wrapped tightly in white sheets
words were few and far between, and terse

they murmured prayers and dug into
the ground, the strong flavour of petrichor
defining the crisp cold air, stinging my cheeks
they lit incense sticks and we closed our eyes
one moment of silence for the million radiances
you had blessed us with, even in your final weeks

i didn’t look when they threw the flowers down
although i unfurled my taut fist and let go my share
a cascade of orange and yellow, damp from rain
and i didn’t look when they covered you with earth
my mind was empty but my heart was twisted
into a convoluted mesh of agony and pain

on the ride back home i cried as i never had
before in my life, all at once i missed the smell
of your dark fur, the gentleness in your eyes
all at once i knew that you had left me all alone,
you had left me behind, with your tail wagging
down some other path, under stranger skies

oh i wish i had played with you every time
you rushed to me, i wish i had embraced you
every single day, i wish i had given you half
the joy you so lovingly brought to my heart
i wish that i could have you back, my beautiful,
beautiful friend, one last bark, one last laugh

wherever you are, if you are, i love you so
i will always love you, and if you are in some
canine-heaven, chasing the sun till all light ceases
to the gleam of your coat, if you are anywhere,
if the dead go anywhere at all, i only hope that
you are rapturously happy, my old friend, and
at peace.

rip

4 Comments to “For Elsa”

  1. You dug a clever hole and I fell into it . . . I’m a dog`lover too . . .

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss of a buddy. Dog’s give the greatest love. As the saying goes: They are the only creature that will love you more than they love themselves.

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