Loving an Old Dog – Peter Chiykowski

Loving an Old Dog

There were days
loosed from the leash
when she’d burst
from fall-frail leaves, lungs
ecstatic with young daylight.
She found mud where
there’d been no rain
or river, tracked paths
to squirrel dens
and litterbug ravines.

There are days still
when she nips at the tail
of her younger self, her limbs
stiffer but her eyes
as wide as horizons
while for a few seconds
she slips the grey
of her fur and fills
the chilly morning with
a mess of barking
and misted breath.
In those moments I know
she feels the ache of speed remembered
by the hunt-brain,
but not this old body,
these lurching bones.

One morning when she runs
along the cusp
of calling range, she’ll find that clearing
where the tree-line thins
and the bracken falls away.
She’ll hesitate a moment,
hearing a voice
older and more urgent than my own.
She’ll think of turning back
to the comfort of afternoon naps,
but instead find herself plowing forward,
a bolt of meat and shag
picking up speed until the trees
blur around her and the forest becomes
an endless streak of saliva
and panted steam,
a chase unending

Peter Chiykowski is a card-carrying basset hound owner and
back-alley poet. His work’s popped up in the likes of Best Canadian Poetry, Best Canadian Speculative Writing, and a Globe and Mail feature on the best erotic writing. In his spare time he doodles Rock, Paper, Cynic, an online comic that’s been shared by George Takei, Nathan Fillion, and Tor.com.

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One Response to Loving an Old Dog – Peter Chiykowski

  1. Poem reads like a true portrait of an old dog, idiosyncrasies and all!

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