my dog tells me

my dog tells me
that she is dying –
subtly, as dogs do

that this is the first
of our many lasts

that we should
go slowly now

and savor this truth,
this pained heart,
with worthy tenderness

I owe her as much,
and everything else
at least once more

we take the first
of our last walks

between the light and
lengthening shadows

wheeling toward
the end of the year
good girl!