Been A Long Time


C’mere, boy, how ’bout
a scratch. The ears?
Flank now? Yeah. Now
a good drub and rub for
the rump, there’s a lad,
aw, that’s the stuff!
Now lemme tell ya
boyo: though my years
number a baker’s
dozen and though
they’re undistinguished
by great acts and noble
bearing, though I’ve been
no headline-grabbing
hero, snatching unrafted
brats from boiling
rapids, no apprehender
of perps, no detector
of contraband, no
guardian of the blind,
though my thirteen years
measure ninety-
one of yours and are
marked with nothin’
but pleasure and slightly
servile companionship,
though I sired no pups
before they lopped my nuts,
though I’ve been neither
dainty high-stepper nor
broad-chested brawler,
and though I am master
even of my bowels
no longer, and though
my muzzle’s riddled
with that ol’ mastiff
Death’s salt whiskers,
and though he’s woven
white booties for my paws
and though I’m stiff and
slow to rise, and though
my hind legs slide and
splay, and though my urge
to play is somewhat
dampened, and my eyes
are foggy flawed glass,
my ears no longer prick
at whistles, and though
this day is wet and
gray, and though my
thought and syntax
ramble, still joy
wags me, still no shroud
can jam that offshore
breeze, no stone wall dam
the floodtide of my love!

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