Literary LEO 2012


On Learning How To Hold A Dog


My mother brought her back: a
stillness in a towel
which I cradled in my arms for hours.
And I stroked the impressed absence
of her collar
made a study of her gnarled,
calcified joints.
I hoisted one of her eyelids
so that we could look at one another
and I thanked her for the magic
in my childhood.
Then I shoveled a hole
and gave her gently to the ground.
In the hand-packed soil above
I earthed a sapling for her to nourish,
that its roots in turn might grow strong
and cradle around her like my arms.