How can this dog on the cushion
At my feet have passed me
In the continuum of age, a knot
In our hearts that never unwinds? This dog
Is helplessly herself and cannot think otherwise.
When called she often conceals herself
behind a bush, a tree or tall grass
pondering if she should obey. Now crippled
at twelve, bearing up under the pain
on the morning run, perhaps wondering
remotely what this is all about, the slowness
that has invaded her bones. Splayed out
now in a prone running pose
she moves in sleep slowly into the future
that does not welcome us but is merely
our destiny in which we disappear
making room for others on the long march.
The question still is how did she pass me
Happily ahead in this slow goodbye?
---------Jim Harrison, “Songs of Unreason”