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January 2014, vol 9, no 4

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Ray Rasmussen

Last Walk


"Dad." I look up, see my daughter's teary eyes.
"What's wrong?"
"It's time to take Gypsy in."
"Oh," I say.

Was it only yesterday that I played hide and seek with her—telling her to sit while I made my way up the trail to a hiding place, then calling and watching her fly past as only a dog can fly, come to full stop, turn, and sniff out my hiding place? And, playing soccer with her in the back yard ... so fast it was impossible to kick the soccer ball past her.

Her nose, the only sense organ that's working well now, goes into my hand, sniffs. I let her out for her last time in the yard, kick the ball slowly, but she doesn't see it. Her back legs go out from under her, then half sitting, she stares blankly. The red squirrel doesn't bother to come out to nag at her.

They go out the door, daughter and dog. Gypsy follows along obediently, allows herself to be lifted into the car. For once, it is my nose pressed to the window.


gray sky—
the cat eats
from the dog's bowl


mail delivery—
the sound of a dog
not barking

Note: Revision of a haibun published in Simply Haiku 4:1 Spring 2006.