Black Dog

Loan me your best shovel. I will dig the hole.
This earth is soft. I kick it with my boot
and it chips up. See, the hole is already started.

The dog wants to go in the ground.
He dug that hole in his yard until his chain
would let him no deeper.

I am good with death. Let me show you
with this hole. I won’t let it be too shallow.
I will have him in the ground before dark.

Make supper, switch on the porch light for me.
The other dogs will gladly eat his share.
This is where he was going.
This is what was down there.

Amber Flora Thomas’s work includes the poetry collection Eye of Water. Her poetry has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Hunger Mountain, and American Literary Review. She teaches at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.