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Jacqueline Arnold


Jacqueline Arnold readingApology

Like a kidnapper I abducted you
From the safety of your home. Undeterred
By proof of life—your nail-clicking near-escape across the office floor—
I re-captured you.

I hoisted you up, legs dangling,
And held you down, struggling on the steel table.
But, before my murmured assurance died
Your black rimmed eyes gently closed, and
Your white furry body flattened.

Rather than ransoming your life, I paid to end it.
Waving aside the offer of your ashes, I rushed out the door.

Arriving home, I packed and fled to dinner with friends,
Unmoved by scattered dog beds imprinted with your form, clumps of white hair
Lying on the carpet, a black leash hanging by the door.
My plans for a replacement puppy were already underway.
Yet, alone that night, secretly, almost silently like a confession of guilt,
I mourned you in my pillow.

picture of dog