Dad’s cigarette smoke slowly drifted
as a bright haze filtering the sun’s rays
slanting through our dining room window.
I saw its cheery glow through an open door.
On the toilet seat, legs splayed for balance,
my feet dangled well above the floor.
Hunched over doing my business, I felt secure
as a baby watching Dad pace, waiting for me
to finish to wipe me. I had as much privacy
as a four-year-old requires.
My reverie was suddenly broken by a screech
of brakes, a sharp scrape, a few feeble yelps,
then silence. Dad disappeared as I heard
the back door slam and my little sister’s distant
cry, Daddy, Trixie’s feathers are gone!
Left sitting a long time, I finally wiped myself,
pulled up my pants and went outside. I found
Dad shoveling a deep hole in the backyard, and
beside the earthy hollow lay our once-frisky dog,
Trixie, collected from the street now limp and still.
first published in The Rockford Review
©2013 Bonnie Manion