Tuesday Poem

In All This Rain

—for Doktor Bruder,
the dachshund

what is written
about the rain

love is one element
that takes more sense
than any other

to know when
to come in out of.
It rains

sooner or later of course on
everything we bury
And burying a dog

is not
according to experts
supposed to be anything like

as painful
as burying your kin.
They say

think of it as sleep
in which the stars also
all go out at once

the stars that you know
are still up there
but just can’t see.

I stopped
a long time ago trying
to make sense

out of all this business
of giving up the ghost.
I find no consolation

in this brown fact
of your dying
which reminds me only

that no man
is any deader
than his dog.

I don’t believe
you’re better off.
Those of us looking up

can still see the stars
at least when it’s
not raining. We’ve kept

the box
of a house where you lived
49 years of a dog’s life.

I’d like you to know
that when I told Jim,
“Dok’s gone,”

he said,
“You mean he’s dead.”
And went over to the couch

where you used to sprawl.
And cried.
Later he said,

“Next dog
I want one that lasts.”

by John Stone
In All This Rain
Louisiana State University Press, 1980