He was my Buddie

I know it seems a little ridiculous to write an ode to my dog, but he was a member of the family, you know? Written 1.30.2009. The day Buddie died.


Four paws, lolling tongue and a tail like a bludgeon
I remember you a thousand ways.
Digging for clams at the beach with me
diving in the lake to bring back that rock
bounding through a field, sproinging high above the grass
barking at 2 am because you found an opossum in the backyard.

You were so annoying.

Leaning into a person’s leg to get attention,
knocking them over in your determination
whining and grumbling if anyone hugged and you didn’t get one.
You used to do tricks for me, sitting up, rolling over
until you got lazy and just turned in a circle
hoping I wouldn’t notice your deceit and feed you anyway.

you were so crazy.

You would protect us from yellow jackets, eating them if they came in the house.
You would spit out your vitamins when you thought I wasn’t looking
and you’d get into the garbage so often we had to hide it.
Whenever someone came to the door,
you acted like the world was ending
and each Fourth of July you’d hide wherever you could
usually under a bed.

You were so weird.

But you were a good dog
and we all loved you.
And we’re going to miss you.
Goodbye puppy.



There is blood on my hands, though I wash them clean:
blood of men dead by my silence,
shame I hid for his sake, for hers.

And now the shattering has begun
I stand in a still place and I wonder,
did I do right by my closed lips?
Or did I think only to protect myself,
and hide behind supposed innoncence?

Did I create for myself righteousness
so I could stand back and judge
implicated by association,
  blameless by my own accounting?

Be it all as it may, blood is shed
and it housed a life now gone
a life that can be laid at my feet
on my head
staining my hands
Blood is red
guilt is heavy
shame is endless.
I am tired.