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Poem For Daniel

By Lois Levinson, October 2018, Updated June 2021

A scent assails her senses,
a redolence from long ago
bursts into vivid
canine memory:
She is lying next to him
inside a sleeping bag,
her nose nuzzled
into his neck.

Must search
But not for bombs
this time.
She crouches and tracks
as she has been trained,
zigzags through
the rock concert audience.

She remembers:
He is carrying her
through fierce wind
and stinging sand,
her face buried
inside his flak jacket.

Must search
She has not forgotten
their time in Afghanistan,
the hunts
for buried explosives.

Must search
The crowd of concertgoers
steps aside
to let her through.
Her sense of him
grows stronger.

At last she sees him.
She pounces,
jumps up,
licks his face.
looks into his eyes,
sees his surprise
turn to recognition.
He drops to his knees.


Her tongue replies
with wet caresses,
the taste of him
seasoned with the salt
of his tears.


Photo by David Rangel / Unsplash