Tuesday, April 06, 2010


By Robert Willner

It rains, rains, torrential rain,
violent winds make
rains horizontal and
push streams to overflowing.
It starts the day before and rains,
rains all day.
Translucent rains hack the
dirt roads and turn into
muddy brown streams.
Rain soaks through my clothing.

Soaking, soaking
pitiless rain, unwanted and
inappropriate for today;
the day that Frankie dies.

Twelve and one half and
trying to make it to thirteen,
Frankie, is a wire-haired
Daschund, beautiful,
dark brown and black,
the color called wild boar,
with a quizzical, comical
expression on his face.
A beautiful dog with a
long, powerful body and
short legs.

Frankie, so clear eyed,
now is blind.
Frankie, whose ears rose at the
slightest sound now
hears little or nothing.
Frankie, a prodigious eater,
in the end has to be fed.
Frankie, who would run into
the woods for hours,
now stumbles and falls and
has to be carried.
Frankie, his life now
leaks with his urine.

We hold his head as the
needle pierces his body,
sensitizing him for the next
needle that begins his journey.

He stares at me.
I stare at him.
His eyes begin to fade.
What could he comprehend,
what could I?

Outside –
Surging wind and rain rain
Intense rain
Slashing wind and rain

Writer Robert Willner, who grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of New York City during the Depression, is a retired attorney who worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission. He now makes his home in Spencertown, New York, with his wife Barbara.

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