by Molly Esposito, English Teacher
I wasn’t sure what it was at first passing,
but on the return trip through frosted
morning air I could see him,
red fur sparkling and stiff
with the frozen dew.
Curled up in the middle of the road
like my little grey spaniel on the living
room carpet when I was a girl.
I wanted him to rise up,
scamper away, prove his wiliness —
silly lady, did you think I was dead?
Or I wanted to stop the truck,
put on the flashers and gather
his little broken body into my arms,
cradle it against the cold openness of the street,
to shield what could no longer be protected,
to honor the little lifeless creature
on an empty November morning.