Lucky One


Behind the pool,      

fenced off by disbelief,

peering down, tunneling

our heart’s into a

muddy ditch,

Georgia dirt and chlorine stench

Black flowers blossomed

over her make-shift grave.

Clicking on horror,

and flashlights shone

empty, her deflated body,

slender and transparent, sucked lifeless

from wreckage, to be sent off

and under.

Four feet underground.

Clicking off shovels, I flashed back,

turning the clock back

two hours.

Running down the stretched-out

driveway,

arthritic appendages straining

and lactic acid burning,

purple spotted tongue sloshing

and slashing June heat,

at high speed

into the street,

she gave into canine fate.

The car met her skull

with a pop, spilling silence

into Summer’s tragedies .

From a distance,

my mom popped off,

yelling at the top,

heart sinking at the pit,

until it all came full circle.

19 dog years swallowed hole

in seconds, the second she entered

the road.

My lungs sucked in air like rapid-fire,

as we fled to her body.

Tire marks on hot pavement, branding

our memory.

But, no holes, scrapes, splinters,

completely unscathed to the eye.

Just shallow gasps,

her last gasps,

and paralyzed fright,

clenching our nerves,

shaking us mad.

And he drove off.

A splotch of brown on black, she let out.

A signpost: This is it.

The day Lucky One sank into the earth,

head light splinters polluted the neighborhood

like break crumbs to the accident,

for the wreck-less driver to trace back

his carelessness,

maneuvering metal mass

into her forehead,

my dog’s

forehead.

I breathed in once more.

We closed the lid on her life,

blanketed the mound, patting

down land and sealed her shut.

With oxygen depleted

and superfluous liquid

sadness droning on,

surely Lucky One

was not the lucky one.

None of us were.

We are not to blame.

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