Late-afternoon light floods the darkening sunroom.
Looking out the window, not sad, not happy, I
and the ghost of my old dog breathe in, breathe out,

and my stubborn consciousness cranes its neck to look
for meaning in the code of stones along the flower beds,
the wild lilies swaying above waves of unkempt grass.

When will it happen? When will meaning stop mattering?
The ghost dog yawns, stretches, floats away into
the twilight tide. And now I am the sole awareness

in the room. My body lightens then, buoyed,
drifts on the surface of the soft green sofa.
How important is it, really, to keep on being?

Not at all, not at all, not at all! But warm blood still
rings in my old ears (half deaf), hums in my old knees
(half hobbled). And how very satisfying breathing is!

From the doorway, impatient, the dog grouses, as he
always did when I kept him waiting. And me? I cling
to myself, fierce as a barnacle, in the deepening afternoon.