Last winter our retriever
dropped nine fine pups.
The tenth had no eyes
a crumpled muzzle and a hole
in his neck that spilled milk
when I gave him a bottle
I drowned him half an hour
then threw him in the garbage
next morning found him gasping
in the frozen garbage cut
his throat waited waited finally
crushed his head with
a brick crying like a kid

It’s easy to go on,
to lie: kittens are hard to kill,
infants survived the Cyklon B,
were buried alive: thus
mammals invert the natural order.
But I remember the lid
on the garbage, cold enough
to burn my hand.

                               18 May 63