Dude in Boots

-for Yogi (10.25.2004 – 11.02.2018)

Like tricky zippers, success landed after a few failed attempts.

During my defeats, pats and good boy praise eased the ordeal.

(The application of boots-to-paws was never my specialty.)

Still, Yogi’s patience exemplified the goldendoodle demeanor,

as did his dashing stride. Even in footwear, he’d glide along

the road and past the neighbors as if a ballerino. Winter’s

hard on dogs’ feet and Yogi was no exception; his digital pads

and metacarpals bore the brunt. If he lacked proper covering,

he’d limp then drop to the ground. I remember carrying him,

offering reassurance and poor puppy talk on the route home.

(Musher’s wax fizzled, though PawZ won blue ribbons

in the battle of the rubber boot brands.) After our walks,

we’d head down to the frozen lake, sit together on the lower

deck, where we’ve two steel chairs (My dad’s purchases

decades ago, from Bachman’s on Lyndale). As if stalwart

companions, these outdoor frames cradled a long line

of beloved canines and humans. Memory is kind for it

restores health and stamina, revives laughter and enthusiasm

as it surges with love. Like tricky zippers, success landed

after a few failed attempts. When grief lingers,

seizes us in jagged patterns and toothy extensions of sorrow,

we neglect the joy of past experiences, diminish the bounty

of our lives. As I glide with an internal coat of gratitude,

delight guides my way for what has been and what’s still to come.

Jeannie E. Roberts

Jeannie E. Roberts has authored eight books, six poetry collections and two illustrated children’s books. Her most recent collection is titled The Ethereal Effect – A Collection of Villanelles (Kelsay Books, 2022). She is an award-winning artist and poet, listed in the Poets & Writers directory, serves as a poetry editor for the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs, and is a Best of the Net and an Eric Hoffer award nominee. 

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