My Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Hound


Hassan Fatima, in Memoriam 1993-2011, died at age 18. She was originally discovered at the dog pound in Marfa, Texas. She enriched our lives in Texas, New York, New Mexico.

She finishes all the bacon treats
innocent and willful to the last,
I waiting for the vet to appear
with Fatima's injection.

A sphinx on the floor,
too big for my lap, she's poised
paws forward, her dear black nose
on one front leg, huge eyes shut
while I expect them to open.
Her sudden peace, her serenity, dim
the memory of weeks of mournful gazes
of incontinence and quivering legs.
The vision of her great beauty,
as she rests splendidly
brings a flash of joy from times past.
I see her breathing
since for eighteen years
i've never not known
her ribs to rise and fall
as if to assert I'm all yours.
But her heart has stopped.
She folds her exotic being
like a night flower at dawn.
She remains a great beauty.

Simone Swan