Old Dog

/ /

Her food and water live across the room.
She has a thought. She lifts her nose. She measures
and weighs effort and risk, her hunger’s bloom,
the long, slick floor between her and her pleasures,

and then decides. Long stretches—fore, then hind—
and she sets off, her stiff legs under control,
eyes on the prize, just one thing on her mind.
Listing only slightly, she reaches the goal—

—and then just stands there, rueful and perplexed,
inches from Paradise without a clue.
She sits. She stares at the wall, not sure what’s next,
how she has come there, what she had meant to do.