Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cruiser Gamache, May 12, 1996 - June 15, 2007

An attempt at tribute, using words I knew you knew
Okay I will begin to believe you are gone, throw
treats into the box for dane rescue, food, toys,
bed if I can lift it from the living room floor.
Cruiser, I miss you, good girl, big girl, coo coo head,
lover of squirrel, chipmunk, kitty, bunny,
relative of horse and deer.
Down the stairs we walked to coffee,
Up the stairs for mail into the alley of smells.
wait and you would, to leap from the way back
it's our turn and we'd cross MLK to coffee
skeedaddle when the lights had changed
Look and see Gary in the yard next door for
happy circles you loped at a lean.
You could take it and leave it,
you loved the trip to Chelan -
stood for bunnies at Rocky Reach,
horsies along the Teenaway, Buffalo bunched
on Squack Prairie, Navarre Coulee Llamas.
"Horsies" and I watch the rear view for your rise.
Wanna come? We imagined you thought us gone
to puppy park, pet store, Chelan when we left you, said
you can come to your raised eyebrows.
Jim was alpha, Juju your litter mate, I fed, bathed,
walked and kept you, furry daughter.
Auntie Barbara gave you running water from the tap
on puppy sleep overs with Bridgett and Bosch
Nancy never let you in the dining room though you stole
Jasper's bed. Scooter stole your bed, fourteen pounds
of my way you let him have, gentle giant we said
pretty girl. I listen for your jinglies, for your sigh at
my bedside to say outside, pet me, food. I miss running
to flip your left ear from off your head, your flannel
smell, the strong pound of your heart, your tongue-lolling
joy as we discovered street or path.
I'm not a pragmatist, not rational, no animal husband
your soul more optimistic and forgiving than mine
you were always with me in real time, no grudges
you had memory, knew English words,
understood body language better than we do.
I think of canine packs in the wild,
how elders fell behind, how we slowed
to your pace, took our place, let you go.