My resentments mount:
Vet bills, soiling, slow waiting
But—your eyes glisten

Stiff-legged, stubborn
You, arthritic, yank me
Outside: summer smells

Summon your wet smile,
Nose nuzzling under my hand:
Life, well earned by will

Roles, demarcated:
Mine, still smoothing a pathway
Yours, the door to close

Matson, a Hightstown resident, is a retired curriculum developer and teacher specializing in ESL and reading strategies. “The Old Dog” is a series of haikus.

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