The daughter waits and would like to thank the Dog
given away to strangers

before she could protest
and apologize.

She imagines he lives better now.
but she will howl         as he had howled

in disbelief           ears drooped
the day she wacked          her clarinet            on her own bare knee

and collapsed onto the broken woodwind
he watching            matted beard            wet nose.

In her mind she pulls him close
as they await a verdict


no one taken away
and remembers him

like a kind brother
who kept her buoyant.