Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Last Goodbye

I have to carry you out to the car. Once upon a time I wouldn’t have managed but there’s nothing much to you now. I settle you on the rug. Talk softly. Avoid your eyes.
            It takes us no time at all to reach the surgery, so I open the door and sit down alongside you and we watch the sun on the weeds between the concrete cracks. You seem content, if a little puzzled, but I can’t tell you what’s happening. I can’t speak right now.
            I have difficulty closing the car door and I don’t want to make any sudden movements while you’re in my arms, so I leave it wide open.  
            You sniff the air inside the surgery and put up a half-hearted fight, but the doctor and nurse are waiting – I discussed this with them last night – and we go straight into a consulting room.  They talk in undertones. I hold your hand. I tell you everything’s going to be alright. You’re not convinced. After fifteen years you know me too well. 
            Then the moment is upon us and I have to step to one side of the table.
I don’t let go of you.
I watch the long silver needle slide in. It seems too big but you don’t flinch.
Your eyes glaze over. Your soft head droops.
After some time I have to let go of your furry paw.
And I walk out to the car, close the gaping door and drive away.
I leave you behind. I leave you behind.   


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