Wendy Taylor Carlisle The 2River View, 9.1 (Fall 2004)
Reading Berryman Again

When we divined it was his time to die, we got the poison
and I read to him again, his big head on my lap
as it had been six years ago when he came, crated,
from the plane, huge and intimidating.
The symmetry at first and last was Berryman.
And death was slow enough for more Dreamsongs
after Fourteen and then to bring the family in
to hear how, at the end, he mourned

the clumsiness of men. We all were dumb. It took too long.
He keened and it was hard to bear. Our heads hung,
we felt like Judas, every one of us ashamed.
Not worth the hound who wouldn't leave without a fight,
who knew our need and filled our human hearts.

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