Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nero could speak

Slightly edited.  Still crappy poetry.  No rhythm or rhyme.  Deal with it.

I took Nero to the desert for another run
We jogged for two miles at his own pace
Not at all bad for a nine year old
But Nero could not talk to me
Nero could not tell me that he was in terrible pain

I took Nero to the desert for another run
He decided he could only manage a walk
He labored and stopped for breath in the shade
Nero could not tell me
That his pain was far worse than I could have thought

Nero began to limp and his rear paws curled under
He lost his appetite his belly shriveled and his muscles withered
His vaccines were current and his blood work was normal
But Nero could not talk to us
He could not tell us how bad he was suffering

Nero’s spine and ribs protruded
But he never whimpered or cried
Nero could always tolerate pain
So how could we have known the suffering he endured
If he was not able to tell us about it?

The x-rays showed his spine was deforming
His rear vertebra were fused together
But Nero always looked at us with hopeful eyes
How great is his pain?  Will he ever get better?
Nero’s only answer was his warm lick on my face

Nero’s rear legs withered and died
He forced himself up on his front legs to pee
But he would quickly fall over and soil himself
We took off work to care for him
We had to face the inevitable by imagining what Nero would say.

I bought a secondhand wheelchair and modified it for Nero
I straddled his blistered and sore body over the seat.
His eyes brightened and his breathing became excited!
He was finally upright and able to walk!
We took him to the park one last time
And I cried at the injustice of it all

We wondered if we were doing the right thing
We had the power over his life and death
What do you want, dear Nero?  What do you want?
Nero could not talk to us, but he could speak with his red and exhausted eyes
He was ready to run in the desert again
If only the pain could be eased enough to sleep and run in his dreams

We told Nero we loved him and held him in our arms
Nero will finally go to sleep and escape the pain
The last thing he heard was our loving sobs in his ear
Remember the adventures and love that we shared as you drift off to sleep
The doctor injected his solution into Nero’s veins
Nero can finally run again in our memories and in his dreams