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ELEGY FOR A BEAGLE MUTT / L. M. Rosenberg What a season this is darkness making its sure descent, the motley rose of drooping head, and wet leaves plastered everywhere in bright chaotic paths. My leaping pup— she of the quick pulse coiled on the bed who slept in outlandish, graceful twists of the neck, shook by the door, lay dripping on the porch, broke the spines of rabbits and squirrels, begged at every table, that last morning rose from the foot of the bed thrusting her jaw into my face to stare: stern, puzzled, forgiving glance, crushed under a school bus, gone. The sprawl of bones with pomp and grief is laid to rest beneath the rusting tree— and still I see her low shape moving cautiously through every raining bush or flashing under weeds as flaps of newspaper blow by. If I had been out walking, if I had thrown myself to her childish play, she who skittered and obeyed could have led me, licking the hand of every passing soul, and pulled me through the final gate. Now the corpse commands and I stay here, reminded of the Buddhist saint who waited at the gates of heaven ten thousand years with his faithful dog, till both were permitted in. Little dancer, I am reeling on a planet gone to dark moods and imbalance, silent and unsafe, imagining your collar of bones hooked small under my fist—wait for me! The Missouri Review · 29 ...


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