the senior pug

With my fingers caressing the tiny fabric,
I noticed Porkchop’s eyes–
did they really look gloomy
or was it merely the sudden spots I peeked
from gazing at the bright
green and red sweater knit?
Both of my lips were still gripping
the needle, tireless about letting
him wear my twelfth Christmas present. But
the grip and gift loosened when
the heat from the chimney turned useless.
Perhaps, he was just getting cold or old.

As my toes and knees pressed
down the numbing flooring,
I found my arms giving Porkchop’s face
a soft nudge. He offered a look that he
had never shown before—it was muted and
and feeble like some of the snowflakes
that could melt at sunrise. I wanted to
tell anyone that my pug’s body was trembling
like a bell in the peak hour, but all I thought was
lending him the sweater I had been sewing—

hoping that the little cloth with a fine
pine tree sewed on it could enliven
the essence of that day, and
the fire from the chimney,
to reveal Porkchop’s creased coat and
weird smell of breath—assuming at first
that it was because of the pizza and red wine.
But nothing was right, so I just stood there,
sketching a new figure in my mind to
embroider on his next holiday’s sweater.

Then I was puzzled and hated
myself for thinking that there’s another
Christmas for Porkchop and I. Yet I
stood still, then sat and contemplated, clearly
realizing that he was different
that day—strange and peculiar.
For twelve years, that holiday was unusual,
he was indeed getting
cold and old.

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