One Day this Dog will Die

Photo by Alma Ortman

On one of those bright blue
sun-sky days,
a day that feels spacious
a day that’s like cake
I’m walking this dog,
the one who is like the one
I’ve always wanted,
the one who brought me back
to mother earth,
the one who meets (almost) every
moment aligned, our moods synced
to spend hours hiking for treasure
or long rainy minutes in bed,
playtime at dusk,
meditation in rivery sun,
whispered hunts for creatures
under moon and tide,
our affection and awe
always paralleled.

As we bounce off a trail I wonder,
What is this love I feel in her presence?
Such solid wholeness in my belly and heart,
everything in the world feeling
just right.
But what is it?
And can I reach such wholeness
on my own?

She’s the one who finally feels mine
— so much mine that I resist
the Truth
that I can’t control her time here
and that she’ll (probably) be gone
before I am.
As we walk under tall familiar trees,
their leafy branches extending care,
my eyes locked on her bouncing tail
two hearts smiling alike
I wonder,
How will I survive that loss?

And then my future self steps in,
the one who’s already there,
grieving her
and surviving.
You’ll make it through a grace that is open,
she tells me.
A grace that has already begun
and is here now with you too.
You’ll step inside the sorrow and
gratitude so deep.
You’ll slip into that sacred body space
the same way you fell into this
abundant joy, this cosmic gratitude.
Gratitude for your soul connection
Gratitude for the transformations
and moments she placed
in your heart and earth,
A gratitude so large and flooding and
already here, filling your body.
That’s how you’ll survive.

And on the day that she is gone,
you’ll read this poem again
and receive it like a drop (just a drop,
I know) of sweet comfort in an
ocean of tears.

So keep drinking the experience
that life has given you
without looking for a cup
because it never really stops.
Feel the realness of how love
really does hold us all.
Make that resource deep, deep,
bone-deep familiar and large.
Make so much the most of this flow
that by the time you get to where I am,
there will be an even greater poem
to write back to this one,
back to yourself.

And we’ll meet again there,
writing that poem,
and that’s how you get whole
“on your own.”
Whole across grief,
Whole across time,
Whole across the space
that is just woven space that
we can touch and help each other
through, legs looped,
hearts criss-crossed,
the spiral walking us home.


© 2021 Alma Ortman. All Rights Reserved

Mindful poet & lifelong learner. Musings on belonging, authentic connection, joy, spirit, body, nature, inner work, vulnerability, self-love, fierce compassion

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