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At the ranch headquarters, which
you have to walk through
to get up here, an old
yellow Lab with fl abby,
drawn-down dugs and, this past
year or so, a bad shoulder,
stands waiting to greet me, in
her usual quiet good humor.
I am an old admirer.
Last year she'd still join us,
lame as she was then,
to fetch the sticks she'd have
one or another of us fl ing
again and again into
the icy currents.
She can just bear
the pain it costs her now
to take a step. As I push on,
she stands there a bit, before
making her way back to the porch.
Her eyes half close with the pleasure
from our meeting, her tail wagging
just a little, reminiscently.
Still the enthusiast; while
in her whole manner you see
her unreluctant recognition of
the scope left to her now, including
the clear if receding view
of how, with her, things used to be.