| STELLA'S GARDEN
These eyes, like lamps whose wasting
oil is spent, wax dim.
Shakespeare, Henry VI
Now somebody stand up,
one of you teachers or priests,
and tell us about the heaven
of dogs, how they go
joyously barking, beyond
the powers of this present air.
And in the yard where my Stella
loves to run, one tree
eloquently offers oranges,
as cherry guavas glisten
and we are all alive.
That tree will not mourn,
nor do the bushes dream
of a coming loss, so let
this place absorb my grief
in the consolation of hummingbirds.
Where do good dogs go? Don't
tell me they're waiting, searching
for their masters in some lonesome
spirit world, until
they hear us call them home again.
There must be a happy, sunny beach,
with little waves singing
or a warm field beyond the terrors
of traffic, where biscuits flow
from the hand of Grace.
Now in Stella's garden, the single
dove is splashing in her concrete bath,
the fragile ficus leans
sadly into forever again,
as the implacable darkness falls.