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Coming down to breakfast I saw
in your gape what rictus meant,
old dog, and in my own
at your presence flat and stiff
on the kitchen floor.

That was the first indignity.
Then how I dragged you
through everything that mattered
and out the door, and fitted you
to my firewood cart, startled

by how flexible you were
in some new places (almost as though
agreeing to the journey), before I could
get you up the path to the car
and refit you there. All the way

to the vet’s with windows open,
then onto the stretcher headed for
the ashes; no treats this time
from the vet’s aides for Magnus,
the handsome border collie, and no hugs
from the formerly libidinous you.

This afternoon as I was thinking
that heaven wouldn’t be
worthwhile without you, the puppy
was gamboling down the beach

with your favorite ball.
But the final indignity
will be the day I stop stepping
over the places where you were.

Brendan Galvin  

Brendan Galvin is the author of sixteen collections of poems. Habitat: New and Selected Poems 1965–2005 was a finalist for the National Book Award. His Cape Cod crime novel, Wash-a-shores , is available on Kindle, and The Air’s Accomplices , a collection of new poems, is forthcoming from LSU Press.

Copyright © 2013 Louisiana State University Press
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Brendan Galvin. "Indignities." Southern Review 49.4 (2013): 560-561. Project MUSE. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Galvin, B.(2013). Indignities. Southern Review 49(4), 560-561. Louisiana State University Press. Retrieved October 10, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Brendan Galvin. "Indignities." Southern Review 49, no. 4 (2013): 560-561. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed October 10, 2013).
T1 - Indignities
A1 - Brendan Galvin
JF - Southern Review
VL - 49
IS - 4
SP - 560
EP - 561
PY - 2013
PB - Louisiana State University Press
SN - 2168-5541
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/southern_review/v049/49.4.galvin.html
N1 - Volume 49, Number 4, Autumn 2013
ER -


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