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Clade Song 13

In Dog Years

Now she’s a farting, fading ghost,
tracing the hardwood halls, at night
nails clicking like a geiger counter,
sniffing for something lost. No dead
masters here, we all rest robust.
I’m not sleepwalking, say her mossy
tunneled-out eyes, cataracts caught yellow
in the flashlight; a smokey halo holds
her head in the shadows.
Still a pup she’d nuzzle
my arm for attention. I,
chasing down a sentence,
gently nudged her away.
The very way I wan-smiled
and mustered a half-assed “great”
when my boy barged in to brag
he’d scored an improbable goal.
Here I imagine a silent keening
accompanies her tender steps.
Bewildered, lamenting
the rotting timbers of age.
The guilty given surprise of us
all having grown so suddenly,
stealthily, younger than her.






LC Gutierrez is a product of many places in the South and the Caribbean, as well as writing and comparative literature programs at Louisiana State and Tulane University. He now writes, teaches and plays trombone in Madrid, Spain. His work is recently published in Autofocus, Notre Dame Review, Sweet, Hobart, Trampoline Journal.