Monday, February 1, 2016

Charles Rammelkamp

A Lifetime in Dog Years

We were married forever,
it seemed like.
Andrew was fun at first,
but he just got more abusive
as time went on,
shut himself up in our bedroom,
reading the news online,
playing video games.

When Audrey was born,
we got a puppy for Mickey.
He was three, resented his sister
as if she were an alien
invading the idyllic island
of our two-bedroom apartment:
he had to share with his sister.

Once she was housebroken,
Kelsey was the perfect pet,
devoted to me, Mickey, and Audrey,
protective as a celebrity bodyguard.

Andrew never warmed to her, though.
When she got old, puked on the carpet,
he’d storm about like Zeus hurling thunderbolts,
threatening to have her put down.
Audrey and Mickey cried, horrified,
knowing their father would do it.

And when Kelsey died in her sleep,
the kids, teenagers now,
absorbed in their own lives,
that’s when I knew
it was time for me to move on, too.

 * * *

Charles Rammelkamp edits The Potomac an online literary journal, and is the Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore, MD, where he lives. His latest book is a poetry collection called Mata Hari: Eye of the Day published by Apprentice House (Loyola University).

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