SO FAR SO GOOD
Normally I keep up pretty well.
So I’m on the phone chatting away with Casey
from online banking, setting up an access ID
so I can view transactions I’m responsible for.
I’m all culturally correct and with it, overplaying.
I mean look, I’m talking sort of like my daughter’s era,
raise the register a bit and the volume, let end notes rise
and hang pauses in a way I don’t, so yeah.
You know, Casey can’t see my hair is white.
But coming off a long hold with loud music,
multitasking as she explains on speakerphone,
getting my coffee, who doesn’t, I let slip
a kind of old expression: “So far so good.”
Her grandmother probably says it.
I notice I’ve done it, and Casey pauses,
a bit unexpected, considers other clues,
and it dawns on her she’s actually talking to an old bat.
So she goes into social service mode, repeats herself
and slows it down, “I’ll walk you through it, right?”
Later at the library returning books, my attention
back in the car where the dogs were waiting as I ran in,
a hustle kind of day,
I didn’t see what was obvious two days later--
when a librarian brought out those two books
banded together with my name in Sharpie,
they needed to charge me for repair,
as behind the counter they gave me time to search my mind,
which was asking me, how did you miss that!
Hadn’t seen that the books I plunked onto the return desk
had gotten their plastic covers torn up by our aging hound,
practically shredded, the one with the tumor
somewhat held at bay in his brain
through force of will and care, who must
have lost his dodgy footing as he struggled into the car,
must have slid on the books placed safely on the floor
with his sharp and dainty nails, the only explanation
I can come up with, that lovely loving dog,
I’d organize his legs for him and boost his rear forever,
if we could have forever.
Bet he understands what I mean, half greyhound,
he used to step like Baryshnikov. “Those two
are old dogs, you can tell,” a passerby announced
last week to his little kids in the park, pointing,
as I gathered the dogs back to me,
fact on his side but not kindness.
I’ll tell our old boy I get it, Buddy, me too,
and pay all and any damage fees
and deflect the obtuse
and keep up the effort as he does, so far so good,
not to be dismissed as just an old bat.