Memorial Day

I heard them talking downstairs, interrupting the words in my book with their own. He told her that he wouldn't be able to do it, he was worried that he could see, that he would see.

They were speaking of the dog. The dog dying in the garden.

The last I saw him standing was a few feet in front of my car as I pulled into the driveway. He wouldn t move. He just stared at the bumper as I yelled to get him to move out of the way. Maybe he knew, maybe he wanted me to run him over. He soon stopped walking, stopped eating, stopped drinking.

I had left him that morning in our garden. He was lying on the cool bricks still panting, still in pain. The blowflies were there, patiently waiting as they danced around their newfound host. I wanted to scream at them, to yell that he was not dead yet, to tell them to take their larvae and hunger elsewhere. I only whispered to my dog that I loved him. I didn t want to watch him die. I was too scared to stay and comfort my dying dog.

It was Memorial Day, a day of memories.

I was on the edge of sleep upstairs in my room, removed from the outside, the garden, and the dog that lay there. A gun shot. I opened my eyes, startled from the noise but stayed there with my head on my pillow and stared at the ceiling. He is no more. Soon they will be no more. I will be no more.

To be sure that I was not dreaming this, I got up to look outside through the window. His body was gone from where he could not move, replaced with his blood. Bright red blood flowed down the bricks to show me where he was, pointing the way to my sadness. Near a trellis slowly being climbed with new vines laid the body of my dog wrapped in a white tarp beginning to stain with red. My eyes began to swell, began to water.

I saw him with the shovel as he began to dig the hole. He stopped as he looked around at the area. Walking through the planted areas to avoid the tainted, painted brick to grab the garden hose that would purify us all. Bright red became dull once more as it was pushed away and onto the soil, into the earth. He walked back to the hole once more and resumed his work. I stopped watching. I went back to my book, anywhere but here.

Time passed and I got up once more to see him covering the hole, my dog s grave.

He came inside when he was finished and began walking up the stairs. I heard sobs I thought were hers but they were not. I had never heard him cry before. He told her that when he aimed, the dog looked in his eyes. As he shut his door to cry alone, I heard him tell the cat that she would have no one to attack anymore.

There will be no more holes dug to cool off in the summer; the carefully planted areas are now safe to grow amuck. No more balls to leave in the yard, the ones that were never brought back. No more barks in the wee hours of the morning to greet friend or foe. No more coming home from missing days beaten and limping. No more sights of winter nights when huddled enemies slept at the door. No more.

There are no more of such things here, so please when you come down our driveway honk your horn to reveal to us your presence. Our dog that warned us of visitors,