* * * * *

Beau dies

When I leave for three months
in southeast Asia
I ask Beau to wait until my return
Before leaving this Earth
Although we also say our goodbyes.
About a week before my return
My ex-wife emails me
Not sure Beau will make it
And while I am flying home 
The always happy,
always kind and affectionate,
highest jumper in his class,
the fleet of foot gentleman 
who understood far more than he could show,
our Beau takes his last breath.
He looks palsied in death
Eyes opened
Lips parted
His fur as soft and golden to the touch
As it has ever been
Legs stretched out 
In the way he would love to do
You can see him shaking with pleasure
wrapped in a sheet
then buried in the yard
Between two cedar trees
With some dog food 
A seashell from the Indian Ocean
His collar and tags still on him
And a piece of the rare candy
He’d sometimes delight in the sugary first rush of
Licking his lips
And then grimacing with disdain 
for the bitter ginger aftertaste. 
Life’s like this I think
as we cover him with earth
and a stone with his name on it, 
painted with his favorite red nail polish, 
a libation of red wine,
sandalwood incense burning,
and two hawks who soar high in the sky
circling over Beau’s buried body
calling “he flies with us now”
for their fallen brother.
He was such a good dog.