Tag Archives: death

Where Is She?

When I come in from the garage
the dog’s look asks,
“Where is she?”
Gone, I say, she’s gone.
He stands at the door
head tilted, he listens
for you.
I open the door
and he walks around the car
pausing to look up into the
windows on both sides.
“Where is she?”

All night he sits by the window
rising up at any sound
he looks and waits
for your return.

And I am there beside him
sharing his hope
for your return.
Where is she? mjh



As I lie dying
spoon me one more time
before the darkness falls
and all I am
is no more
forever done and gone
a song no longer sung
hold me one last time
before the darkness falls
and I am no longer going
simply gone. mjh



I’ve become the caretaker
of a small collection of works
by a minor poet
who abruptly stopped writing
when his muse moved on.

Did he feel like a man
whose mistress has taken
a younger lover?
Or was this as bad as
the day the dog died?
He never could say. mjh




Glenn Gould plays Bach
as I step on that distant shore.
Handing my coppers to the boatman,
I look up the bank for you
among the crowd
scanning the new arrivals for
old friends
to lead across the fields
when the dog barks —
1 head, not 3 —
I’m not dead yet,
as Charon’s ferry folds
into the sofa,
where I shiver
in fevered dreams
between two worlds
not ready for either. mjh

first published 3/9/05

Listen to 101°

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

The Bright Side

“When he’s dead,”
she says,
“I’ll finally get that dishwasher.”
“And when she’s dead,”
he says,
“I’ll knock a pass-thru to the kitchen.”

Either could have what they want now
but these are little improvements
they can look forward to
as if one day
the end of the world
could have a bright side
like that trip to Europe
after the dog dies. mjh


There could be an upside to death, at least, for the survivors.

Listen to The Bright Side

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

Update 2012: She got her dishwasher and he got a counter far better than a pass-through and nobody had to die, yet. http://www.edgewiseblog.com/mjh/uncategorized/kitchen-remodeling-for-dummies/

The Heaven of Animals

The meadow is his home now.
Up high in the mountains,
he lies in the shade
in a circle of trees
among the wild iris.

He yawns and stretches,
flips over
and rolls and rolls,
groaning in pleasure
in the tall sweet grass.

At any moment
he will sit up, alert,
ears sharp,
sniffing the air,
eyes intent on something
we can’t see
off under the trees.

His world is perfect now,
though I know he misses
the pats, the belly rubs,
the love in our voices:
lie down.
stay now.
good boy. mjh


I wrote this five years before Lucky Dog died, remembering a beautiful spot the three of us discovered. And, imagining the inevitable, I sobbed. This supports my hope that “any horror could be faced / and become a poem.”

I borrowed the title from a poem by James Dickey. If you’re looking for that one, here’s a link. And, here’s a poem I wrote soon after Dickey’s death in 1997.

Listen to The Heaven of Animals

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)