a poem for Herzog and in hopes of comforting any human who has been sad at the loss of an animal friend

Posted on May 3, 2015

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August 2007

Your song ended ~

when the air smelled of wild grapes and the dusty sweetness of clover.

And crickets serenaded the evenings, and cicadas’ hum filled day— and night

Everywhere was the scent and vibration of high summer —

then I learned that death is not an event ~

not a presence but a …

cessation.

A doorbell rings —

I summon to my mind one syllable of your rough voice

responding

only stillness presses my ears

like gauze.

I lean toward the silence

buzzing, a hollow hum, nothing.

Coming home when light of day dims, I strain to see your face through glint of glass —

but you are not there.

I walk around corners in the empty house to you—

not there.

Missing you,

we picked wild berries on that harsh day in July.

We strained to hear frogs grunting

savoring any sound of life,

but there was nowhere to seek you.

The last moment I pushed into your soft cheek

you exhaled and laid down your head

and I left the room.

 

In my mind, I screamed to return —

through that door

to press my head against yours.

I never did.

Herzog portrait taken 1-29-06 taken by Victoria

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