Life Long Friend
I buried a life-long friend today,
Out in the meadow where he would romp.
Playing our games just to please,
Looking up to see my smile,
Then off he'd run to catch the wind.
Yesterday, we played bouncy-ball,
Scrambling across the linoleum floor.
Laughter and gaiety ringing true,
In reckless abandon to snatch up
The sloppy round object of our joy.
Playing the game until I would tire,
He would lap up water and feign interest for more.
Pushing his wet muzzle into my hand,
Soppy ball in mouth, he would beg
For one more quick toss, the ritual we'd made.
In the afternoons, we would play in the meadow.
This was his favorite, running free in the grass.
The bouncy-ball was part of it, too.
Carried in his mouth until it was right,
He'd flip it to me, slobbers and all.
As the years went by, we continued our sport.
Same routine day after day.
Ball in mouth, he would come to me.
Fun- not in possession, but in the pursuit.
Grappling and tossing and running amuck,
Always coming back, with the well-worn ball.
Pain filled my being when I awoke this day,
No wagging tail, no licking me about my face.
When he didn't come running, I called out his name.
I searched through the house, with fear in my heart.
There he lay, still- ball by his side.
My old life-long friend passed on in the night.