How to Bury Your Dog Using a Sonnet by Brian Duncan

How to Bury Your Dog Using a Sonnet

Close your eyes, smell his fur for the last time,
clip a lock from his tail, tie it with yarn,
hang his faded blue collar by the door,
dig a hole under his black locust tree.

Feel the rough gray leather of his paw pads,
run your fingers over the half-moon scar,
from the broken bottle he stepped on in the pond,
fill the hole with bully sticks, balls, and surrender.

Flip his ear inside out, then back again,
lock the gate that leads to the trails out back,
pull the batteries from the GPS tracker,
plant sweet pepperbush all around.

Scrape the food dishes, empty the water bowl,
listen for echoes of nail clicks on tiles.


Brian Duncan lives in Kendall Park, New Jersey with his wife Margie and two cats. He worked in a virology laboratory at Princeton University for many years and is now happily retired. He enjoys devoting his time to poetry, gardening, and hiking. He has been writing poems for many years, but has only recently started submitting. He has a poem that will be coming out in the summer issue of Thimble.

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