Somehow the dog knew, had known for days.
Made mother cry every time it sat by the window
and watched him in the yard. Damn thing was in the
back of the truck before his suitcase.
I waited outside while he told his momma goodbye,
this was going to be hard enough without seeing that.
We did not talk much on the way to the bus station, I kept
glancing at him, wondering where the boy had gone.
We sat and waited ’till time to load, making sure to not
look each other in the eye; I knew I would break. The dog
with her head in his lap was almost more than I could take,
he could barely touch her, much less say her name.
Face-to-face, our first man-to-man handshake, both
scared to speak, neither acknowledging the other’s tears.
I broke down and hugged him, he did not resist, then
pushed him to the door, told him to call his momma.
Stayed there a while after the bus left,
petting the dog, reviewing memories through tears.
Tonight would be quiet, and bedtime hell,
when the dog tried to sleep in his room.
Written in response to Margo Roby’s photo prompt (but the poem is supposed to stand without the picture, so you will have to go to her site to see how I did)