"Heaven for Arden"--A poem by Mark Doty

Feefee's first day home

Last night, Andre and I brought our good Feefee girl to the vets and had her put down.  For when there are no words there is always--thank heaven--poetry.  And nobody writes as well about dogs as Mark Doty:

Heaven for Arden

Back when Arden could still go for a walk--a real walk,

not the twenty yards or so
he stumbles and lurches now--

he used to be anxious and uncertain, looking to me,

stopping awhile, tentatively, to see if I'd agree
to go no further, sometimes whining a bit

in case I'd respond.  Sooner or later,

the turn would come; we'd gone far enough
for one day.  Joy!  As if he'd been afraid all along

this would be the one walk that would turn out to be   

Then he could take comfort
in the certainty of an ending,

and treat the rest of the way as a series of possibilities;
then he could run,

and find pleasure in the woods beside the path.


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