The doctor was thoughtful as he asked, `is she in pain?' And I said
that she takes the stairs quite slowly and has difficulty in the morning.
I felt as if I was describing myself. He touched her head lightly
and said, `take her home and love her.'
The walk home was longer than the other times. We talked. I told
her how I knew that she hurt sometimes but together we would
make it. Her head was pointed in the only direction she knew,
We climbed the porch and with great relief she sprawled. It was
the only place in memory to put its square arms about her and say,
I watched her forget at times when a squirrel spirited her vision
and she gave chase. A monumental effort for the enormous body
collapsed and found its rest with four legs at right angles. She even
thought at times she was a pup and she remembered from some
distant time how she jumped straight up. Now she found her
She does not whimper but takes time in stride. I prepare her
supper with the crisp fatty bacon and no gourmet meal matches.
I look upon my cereal bowl and wonder.
One voice says, `put her out of her misery.' Another voice demands,
`would you do as much for me?' Another counters, `what will you do
My bones become brittle now and I find rest at the top of the stairs.
My eyes grow dim and I tire. Occasionally I do my spirited dance,
remembered. And then my limbs remind me again that to dislodge
hidden memories brings pain. And I wonder again.
Who will be my advocate?