To my beloved dog Patriot
11-23-85 - 5-29-95
in celebration of her birthday.
World spinning out of grasp,
out of reach, out of sight; you are gone.
My heart, my head, my hands empty
as your spot in my lap.
Sightless eyes searched for you.
Soundless voice whispered your name.
Deaf ears listened for your breath.
In a wild place the pain roared,
burned white, and then waned to an ember.
Shadows of the night closed in.
Now a half-luminous ray breaks through.
Memories quicken, dreams take color,
and I know that love never dies.
Liberated from your temporal shell:
you are not gone.
I see your eyes glittering like faith
in every refraction of sunlight.
I hear your bark echoing like promise
in the baying of the wind.
I sense your presence rippling like energy
in all the sweep of hopeful sky.
I feel your love constant and warming like dawn
in its old comfortable place in my soul.
And I know -- as I always knew --
That I gained much more than I lost.
Anne L. Taylor
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