The service road moved under the carriage of my car
Jostling hours away along the wood
Up where no one would hear, I was sure
in the gray area between foothills and mountain
I locked the doors, an urbanite out of place
Jack hobbled along as I climbed into a clearing
I wondered, always
I drove the shovel into ground soft enough to dig easily
a necessity for some reason,
out where the wild things would certainly enjoy an easy feast.
I pulled two heavy objects from my pockets
squeezed the squeaky ball
I threw it out ahead of us into shrubs.
He didn’t go right off, right away.
He was always a smart dog.
Finally, he turned to see where his ball had gone.
The hammer slid into place.
I was close enough not to aim
the shot exploded from the hands that had raised him.
For hours I didn’t move.
I stood over Jack’s body
wondering; why I hadn’t
taken more time with him
and dug the hole first