Narrow Flame

Sun at the zenith. Greening
  Slight buckling of the left
hind leg. And all this while
            the girl
  at his ear good boy and now
the hip giving way and mildly as
            was ever
  his wont the lovely
heft of him lists toward the field
            that minutes 
  ago was still so sweet for 
grazing and good boy and on the
  now where the frightening 
last shudder of lungs that we’ve been 
            warned about
  does thank you darling does 
not come and feeling for a pulse 
            no pulse
  and warning us touching 
the liquid eye which does not 
            close which
  means the slender needle with
its toxic everlastingness has done
            its job 
  good boy unbuckling the
halter lifting the beautiful head
            to her 
  lap and all this while the girl

Copyright © 2017 by Linda Gregerson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 9, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.