The Sweetest Boy


Frank, foreground, with his sister Beulah, left, and his mother, Tao, right.

It’s been almost four weeks since we lost Frank.
A too fast car.
An inadvertent leap.
His favorite time of day became his last.
He died in my arms.

He was the sweetest boy.
Not quite three.
Already faithful and protective.
Bashful and funny. Quiet and patient.
Content to hang in the studio.

On late afternoon walks, his long strings of fur
would glow golden in the light.
Running, running, running
at the first hint of a scent.
Always coming back to me, just to check in.

A neighbor hit him.
Not intentionally of course.
Claimed they never saw him.
I have no reason to doubt this.
But they will remain for me the person who killed my dog.

I’ve walked that walk more days than not over the last twenty years.
But now, one direction takes me to Frank’s last breath.
The other to the home of the person who hit him.
In a moment, I lost the dog I perceived as life’s companion
And the walk that had given me time of pleasure and solace.

I like to think I live in a slow place.
Where a person can walk with animals or children.
Without fear. Only with openness and calm.
Trusting that everyone has the same sense of place.
It sucks when the speed of the outside world intrudes.

Frank is in our garden now.
Next to Zimmy, just over from Leroy and Baby Scruff.
A quiet spot he knew well. 
Where we're sure to think about him
when we harvest our greens.