Late summer lies lazily in the golden light

cascading through the trees to cast

long, heavy shadows on the lawn

where the dog lies wilted and tired.

His ball by his side, thrown over and over,

but played with no more.

For the old bones of this faithful friend are weary of this life.

There is a longing now felt as we lean into transition;

for the harvest, for the threshing,

for all that’s born fruit and lived its good life.

Now, lowering head, the seeds scatter on the dry, hot ground.

I scoop up the dog, the wind picks up too.

I close my eyes to smell more dearly

this fragrance of hot grass and sun

that truly are how I would immediately identify this as the scent of summer

in her prime, cascading towards the last weeks with resistance.

I ask them both to linger longer, dog and season –

For I’ve learned to love them both,

to hold them to my heart and know their pulse as my own.

Still I rest here, I rest here knowing autumn’s arrival is a melancholy whisper.

This day descends in a sweet sigh, a surrendered prostration over the tips of the trees.

Knowing what is inevitable; the what is and the what has been all stitched through

the narrative of my life; a dog’s story named Oliver.