Dog Years

When I’m home, she follows me floor to floor
Without complaint, lugging fifteen year-old bones,
Settling once she knows again where we are.
Now I’m gone, she lies by the front door

Watching through the glass for my car.
I have never seen this—but I know when
I open the door at last, she’ll be there.
My husband recounts by satellite phone the hours

She lay there today, rising only to make sure
I hadn’t sneaked back in while she was asleep
Or to watch him fill her bowl, then not eat.
Every minute you’re gone feels like forever,

He says, his voice travelling all the way
To space and back before it reaches me.

About the author

Katharine Coles has returned home from Shanghai just long enough to pay bills, do laundry, and repack. Her fifth collection,The Earth Is Not Flat…

Read the full bio

Issue 16 · October 2012

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