For my dog, upon her seventh birthday


She does not run as fast as she once did.

Still, her legs swing like furry pendulums,

Tiny chest seeming to graze the ground as

She sprints after a wayward tennis ball.


The sound of knocking at the door used to

Make her leap down from her favorite spot.

These days it takes more to coax her from this

Paradise, that sun-warmed patch on the bed


Where she snoozes through the day, waking when

Tantalizing smells from the backyard find

Their way up into the upstairs window.

She wrinkles her small damp nose and wonders.