Rusty in Old Age

According to the old equation 7 = 1,
he’s 91 in human years, but can still
cut a mean path through the house
when he goes on a tear. His deep red coat
has gone ashen, his face so white
the stripe up his forehead has nearly vanished.
Demanding as ever, especially about treats—
those little snippets of white meat chicken,
he turns up his nose at dog biscuits—and still sharp
in many ways, he does get mixed up
by the tricks of increasing deafness.
At first he doesn’t hear at all, then when the call
penetrates, he looks around, startled,
wondering where the voice is coming from.
He’s survived paralysis of his back legs
(relieved by surgery), pancreatitis, a cancerous growth
on his right eye, pinched nerves, and chronic
ear infections. But he keeps plugging on,
and I wouldn’t bet against his living
long enough to hike his leg on my grave
just as he did on his first cemetery visit
when his Daddy died eight years ago.


Prompt source: Write a mixed up poem (Poetic Asides, 2012 April PAD Challenge, Day 16).


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