A Time for Understanding – Lisa Fox
I lay your bulky, yellow head on my lap, your labored breaths hot against my nightdress. Your massive Labrador paws thrash against an unrelenting hardwood floor, as if you’re trying to run to a place without pain. I press my cheek into your soft fur; it cushions the fear that strikes with each violent spasm that threatens to take you from me. I pull you close, wrapping myself around you until the yelps subside to whimpers. Your body shudders. You exhale, deep and deliberate, pushing out the hurt. Your body calms. It is quiet.
I lean back against the cold wall, the chill a respite from the icy-hot adrenaline that pulled me from my dreams to your side. I pet you with long, careful strokes. Your muscles twitch beneath my fingers. A plume of your fur, like dust, hovers above my touch.
As the moon through the bay window bathes us in a ghostly light, I watch you breathe.
I will myself to linger in this moment, to relish the warmth of you.
I run my fingers over your ears and down your neck. I kiss your nose. Still wet.