Like Father, Like Son

The seventy-five pound, one-hundred-twelve

Year-old Chocolate Lab needs help getting up

On the bed at night.  His mom lifts his front

Legs and then his hind-quarters onto the bed.

He snuggles at the foot of the bed and as

The temperature drops he inches up till his

Rump and his dad’s bump. The old dog can’t

Run anymore with mom and dad as they

Jog down the trail, but in his sleep he runs like

The wind, chasing the neighbor’s cat past the

Pine Grove around the pond and through the

Dune grass till the cat climbs the big blue spruce.

He kicks his dad as he chases the tennis ball across

The sand of the Lake Michigan beach.  He kicks,

Pushes and pants and then quiets down, breathes

Deeply and slowly as he rolls on his back in the

Grass in the afternoon sun of his dream. His dad

Turns on his stomach and dreams he is running

Into the arms of an old girlfriend and just as they

Are about to touch, the dog kicks him again and

He wakes only to remember that she died a

Dreadful death from a disfiguring disease. He

Catches his breath, shutters and slips his hand past

The sleeping dog and rests it in the small of his wife’s

Back and then he too breathes deeply and slowly in

The afternoon sun of another dream.

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