Running on Empty

I chop strawberries and drop them into a bowl. 
I glance at your bed in the corner of the room. 
I throw yogurt and honey into the round dish,
when the memory of your labored breathing comes crashing down.  
I gobble up my breakfast as quick as I can. 
Start to work, uninterrupted, while night changes to day. 
As the numbers click by on the clock, I know I have time to run, to daydream, and to work some more—
if I want.
Our days of morning walks in the woods are done.
In the backyard, your squeaky ball sits against the fence. 
The pile of stuffed toys overflows from your box, 
and they stare at me with no owner left to carry them around.

You were always there through all of life's changes:
lost jobs, some illnesses, and too many deaths. 
You offered a lick and a hug, and with a tilt of your head: 
Reminded me we'd go for a walk and eventually would be okay again.
The last few years, I've watched as you went deaf, tumbled, and fell. 
But you always struggled, with unending glee. 
Sitting on the pavement, you smiled, to lure in a passerby who might pat you on the head,
and maybe offer you a treat.
They said you were doing well . . .
I knew they were just kind.
Because we all knew what was coming—me, running on memories—
and us, with no more time.

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