It took a lot of nerve to take the dog in the divorce.
How many things are lost that make a line in the decree?
The court sent someone fierce and armed to take the things by force,
and I didn’t care about a thing except for Fannie.
A gun, a badge, and an official document in hand.
Divorce gave him the couch, and his grandmother’s silver spoons;
when they were loaded, he asked, “Where can I find the dog?” And
we searched. In the yard, by the river, in the empty rooms,
in all those places Fannie had ever been known to hide.
They of course thought I had hidden the dog out of contempt,
but she was the only thing lost that I could not abide
to give. And so the dog and I got in the truck and went
down by the river with a gun, like all the other times.
I buried her there, under the willows and sweet pea vines.
…from the collection “Hard Rime,” this sonnet was a Winner of Tishman Review’s 2016 “Edna Saint Vincent Millay International Poetry Award.”