Lily is
half-ghost, clinging on
to a body on its side all
hours of
all days.

Face still
a deer's, her
still-lustrous coat
used to boast
thews beneath that

dragged my man
off his bike
toward the mastiff she
yenned to meet.

Now, winded
from existence, her once
whip-strong rotor tail
grounded, only those
doleful eyes trail after
our bare feet.

Now, guarded-become-
guardian gathers—once
83, now—65 uneager
pounds of dog,
every hour, a few feet

to the same
grass patch, where she
flops, relieves
herself lying on
her side in a burgeoning pool
of her own making.

Gnats, flies,
mosquitoes, failing to
consume her, ravage us—
fanning her—
in place.

strains in her
impossible task
of standing
in the fading
evening light.

We wait only for her to
summon strength, enough
for us to
carry her back inside…

Outside, the flies linger

--Evelyn L., Adult