A lesson in pure love…

September is near…

my Van Gogh calendar

announces its approach

in this, the airless heat of August

my mind drifts back

to a different and long ago September

with my dad in that September

dove hunting in a dazzling New Mexico

sun- drenched dusk

four kids piled in the rear of the station wagon

my Dad, tall, in beige hunter clothes

pregnant  mom beside him in the front.

We’re stopped on the side of a narrow dusty road…

this must be dove country; it looks like a cornfield to me…

in the silence of a solitary moment

when all four children stop nudging, wriggling, whining

in that silence a clear, yet plaintive sound…

a howling dog…

it catches everyone’s ear as it eerily continues

to beckon someone-

dad is the one who answers that call.

while we quiz mom about where he is headed…

disappearing into the cornfield and beyond,

it seems but moments he returns and

reaches into the glove-box for his pistol,

only to leave once more.

back he heads

towards the now still louder howls…

back to an abandoned dog, chained to a tree

in the last fevered hours of starvation…

one shot…then silence…

slowly dad returns…

a tear sliding down his ruddy freckled cheek…

no man ever loved a dog as much

as dad loved that dog

in that moment…

the hunt…

abruptly over.

4 thoughts on “A lesson in pure love…

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