I cut its head off with a kitchen knife
while you were out.
It didn’t fight. Its spine went with a crack.
There was more blood
than I’d have thought. Before you ask, I don’t
know how I could.
It’s just, this is what we do. It was quick.
It was past help.
Fifteen years is a long time, isn’t it?
I bagged it up
and took it to the outside bin – I was
very sad, yes –
and washed and dried its bowl, the chopping board
by hand and went
into the living room to face our son,
from Take This One to Bed
(Valley Press, October 2016)