Lost animal of Christmas past,
floppy ears cover eyes
too ashamed to accept,
how low she’s fallen,
faded felt belly
frozen in grief to the sidewalk.
Without even a plastic bag
to disguise rejection,
she lies exposed, less than garbage.
Discarded cords, old homework,
and a Disney Store bag from 2007
press against the slack form on three sides.
Her tired pelt casts shadows on jigsaw mats
that are not useful, not even fun.
Who used to love you?
Who threw you away?
Who remembers the morning
you got yanked from a red box
and hugged with aggressive joy?
Where is your former seat
on a bunk bed or cedar chest?
You never chose this street, this corner, this end.
Nobody asked if you were done with love.
When I see the patchwork bow on your neck,
my ribs tighten in pain.
The bow’s faded hearts, flowers, and stripes
in green, blue, yellow, and a hint of purple
cannot lift this heap of despair,
but the colors found me, your witness, your friend.
Let’s sit together until the truck comes.