I see Morrie and I see Gibbs and Bonnie. Bonnie was just 9 weeks old when we got her. Gibbs was much older, but I thought he’d be around for awhile. Dogs get old far too soon. I live in dread of the next loss, but Bonnie isn’t worried. She’s happy every day. The joy of being a dog is to never have to worry about the future. All that matters is now and the joy of the ball and the hand that throws it.
I throw the ball and throw the ball,
over my head in an arc to the garden downhill from the pool
where every midnight I do aerobic exercises and yoga,
trying to stem the freezing-up of joints,
the spreading of spare tires around the waist.
I am allergic to the sun,
and so these sometime-between-midnight-
and-3 a.m.-sessions in the pool
have come to be habit,
with both me and the small black shaggy dog
who leaves his bed in the doggie domain,
no matter how late I make the trip to the pool,
carrying his green tennis ball.
It is the latest in a long progression of balls
chewed to tatters until they are incapable of buoyancy
that sink to the pool bottom to be picked up by toes,
toed to hand, and thrown down again.
When they are replaced in the morning with a fresh ball,
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