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Today's poem is Tasha by Gretchen Berg. It is read by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc.

At Ferry Beach, she'd crouch,
catch his eye,
make sure he was hooked,
turn slowly away, next a head fake
just before turning it on.
With that Tina Turner tail,
she was always the fastest one
on the sand. She could scramble
up onto the roof of the car.
Once we got her to climb a tree.
Back home, she'd only stop herding
us once we sat down to watch TV,
eat ice cream & put our empty bowls
on the floor.

When neighborhood walks got slow
we carried her up the steps
and through the door
into her shrunken home:
the front hallway floor draped with old sheets.
Soon we started carrying
her downstairs, too.
When it was time, the quiet
vet and his tearful assistant drove
over in his maroon station wagon
to join us in the hall.
We took turns petting Tasha
Goodbye. You held her head in your lap.
Then the shot. A sigh. Done.

We wrapped her up, carried her
to the backyard hole
we'd already dug, cried in the rain
and took turns with the shovel.
We all kidded about getting our hands
on whatever it was that the vet used.
We could keep a stash in the freezer.
You know. For us. For later.
But now I don't want the stash.
Instead, I want that quiet vet & his tearful
assistant to drive up in the station wagon,
walk up the steps, and find us in the front
hallway where I'm lying on clean sheets
with my head in your lap.