The wet sound echoes hollow through your lungs.
Again that rasp. Again an effort of your tongue.
Do you recall, in some far corner of the brain,
a young day when all your body flexed to fetch a tennis ball,
and all the world and life was focused in that chase?
A day when leaves flew, brown and red, across your face,
and grass rose green to slow your pace?
A time when puddle, tree or iron wall
your joy and will could never stall?
A day, a moment, when your only aim
was just to seize a bounding object come all hell or rain?
Holding your head in my lap I hear
the labor of your breathing slow and thin.
I remember, and I rub your ear
to say, go now, old friend.