in memoriam

For a dozen years, she walked, ran, leapt by my side, her constant vigilance a comfort, source of joy and inspiration. Last Monday afternoon, my beloved dog slipped quickly away, leaving one more gap in a life with ever more departures. But she well knew how to bridge each chasm. Her gifts were many, her demands few. I carry her arcing leaps across the neighbor field as I walk; her frenzied plunges into pools after ball or stick; her soulful eyes that held mine as long as I asked in our daily pre-food ritual of ‘Loki, look!’ In those moments, we were one intention, one spirit. She is missed and yet present in every aspect of my life. I am truly blessed.

Evensong
for Loki 7/13/08 – 3/29/21

No moonrise tonight
in the dark starry sky.

No great orange orb
peering over the rim
of the bay like dawn’s

eager brown eyes rising
at bed’s edge bearing
bright morning cheer.

***

Last night I lit the fire
not against cold but to feel
us curled snug together.

Today, against your disinterest
I offered my hand with some kibble.
You carefully lifted each

one crunchy morsel
at a time as to savor
every last bite.

***

Not three days since we walked
both beach and meadow
of a dozen years’ rambles.

And holding you now
I cradle your soft length,
hands stroking your chest,

drawing your velvet ears
through and through my fingers
again, once more, again.

***

Had I known that night –
this morning – would be your last,
I would have done the same.

In lieu of goodbye, let me honor
and bless all the years of you –
steadfast devotion

not even this darkness
can obscure.

swb

14 thoughts on “in memoriam

    • Thank you, Bonnie. Such a shock – but she’d been slowing down for a while. Just kept on until she couldn’t. She was a real gift. Hoping you are managing through everything that is going on right now …

  1. You beautifully capture Loki’s final days and some of her beloved traits that will live on in memory. She is greatly missed by human and canine companions alike!

  2. A beautiful tribute to your shared souls … how wonderful to have had her in your life, and for her to have been loved by you. Her memory will grow more precious with time. Love you both …

    • Right? Thanks for checking it out. Done fiddling now. Feeling very much at peace. I printed out this photo and she is looking soulfully at me from every angle whether I sit or walk by. Very consoling. xoxo

  3. Dear Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear that your companion of so many years has died. Your poem is a beautiful tribute to her. Sometimes I think that dogs are more highly evolved than we are; capable of unconditional love and forgiveness , and never ceasing to delight in every moment .

    She had a good life with you.

    Love from us both, Phil and Barbara

    • Thank you so much, Phil. I have to agree with ‘dogs are more highly evolved than we are.’ She taught me so much. And as you well know, spanned such critical years: from full empty nesting through PD, losing my sister, Jim – those ‘disappearances’ David Whyte speaks about. I have been extremely fortunate. I appreciate your stopping by. Hoping you are both well. Time for a check-in, I believe … love

    • Thanks for stopping by! Writing this immediately after her death helped so much. I appreciate that she could touch others as well. Thank you for ‘devoted to your heart’s longing.’ That’s lovely.

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