She got her, goofy, just out of high school:
a pure-bred baby, all slobber and spunk,
a one-woman dog for a one-dog woman.
Scared silly with owning, she named her Boo—
short for Boofer, a comic book buddy
extravagant beyond her small-town means:
a questioning tail, big hair and black tongue,
cold eyes large as her Nancy Drew dreams.
Married the only boy she’d ever known,
moved to the city, then the city beyond.
Traded husband for lover, a boss for a partner,
a loft for a condo, Peekskill for Provence.
Through the dog days of her dog years
she was the genius of a portable hope,
the locus of their ever-yawing walk
’til, tired, she wandered once away . . .
Not surprised, at her eulogy, to learn she was psychic,
felt the pain of her mistress days before her,
sat in with the board, ate cookies from the table
—surprised not by the tale but only the telling
to find that her name, through all the years
had remained as it was, immutable Boo,
short, now we are told, for Kabuki,
an elegant and exotic form of theatre.
comes up with the shovel
while digging the grave—
heartleaf: the elegant and exotic name for wild ginger