I remember running through the paddocks in a thunderstorm,
My four pairs of socks and gumboots,
Your rough coat of black fur shining in the rain;
Artillery blasting holes through the stratosphere.
We ran and ran and ran and I’ve never felt so free.
Crash-tackling into the grass,
Wet paws and wetter arse.
You nuzzling into my side,
Both staring way up at the dancers in the sky
Thrashing and tumbling, you and I
Were monochromed matadors courting the lights
– Those great rods of thunder bursting through the veil –
And feeling petty and frail but happy as all hell
As you breathed fire to my frozen neck
And propelled us forward with that skipping tail.
Blasting through the hail.
Bonnie my love, though you can now barely move,
I see the lightning in your eyes
And I dream of us there still
Me 14, you just a pup,
Running up that hill.
And I hope you know when I hold your paw
For the final time
That, though my gum of memory
Is now missing teeth,
I will always be there with you running
Through the paddocks,
Just two joyous silhouettes stained against
Those short-lived skies.
[Do you remember when you slayed the red-belly
And I nursed your stuttering chest through recovery?
My lancelot, my knight in dark shining fur,
Sleep well my strong-headed baby
I’m sorry that I wasn’t there.]