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My Pet


I searched for you,
going back to that first day,
that first adventure:
the ruins of the winery,
the old stone walls crumbling, in disarray,
a bumpy terrain where we played
as explorers, sharing secrets
in the abandoned rathskeller.

The ruins were overgrown, desolate,
sending me to seek you elsewhere,
but you were not to be found
at the old swimming hole
at the quarry,
not paddling the waters
with a smile on your lips,
not shaking the drops from your hair.

I looked every day,
wishing you had never
made that trip to Atlanta,
trying to find any sign of you
along the way,
in a roadside stop
or by the world’s largest
baseball bat.

I should never have turned
my back on you,
let you get away.
No matter where I went
you were not to be found,
even on the jutting rock
where we sat by the shoreline,
silent after our first fight.

You are gone now,
lost to me,
no longer
licking my nose,
no longer begging for attention,
far from my empty bed,
your dish sitting empty
where you left it.


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My Pet, by Paul Cales, © November 2003