Yesterday, this trip wasn’t on the calendar.
Such things, happily, almost never are.  

Tonight, I’m sitting on the cool tile floor
of a still, small exam room at the vet’s,
petting you as she inserts the first needle,
the one with the heavy dose of sedative
that immobilizes you, leaves you snoring.
Sure that you’re deep in painless slumber,
she slides the second cold steel monorail
gently into your shaved right rear leg,
the shot you will ride to the afterlife.
Or oblivion. I don’t know and you won’t say.
I turn my gaze away as the syringe empties,
then watch my hand stroking your head.  

Tomorrow, as I drive to work, windows down,
a tuft of your fur will blow past my face.