In the basement before moving

Not a hunting breed,

he nosed the carpet bolt behind the boxes.

A lifted edge–a flash of fur–

but Hugo was faster.

One brutal shake. and the hedgehog pup was still,

suddenly,

a shapeless tribute at my feet.

I grieve the animal’s life.

I grieve this hard lesson in attachment,

this gift, this mortal meditation on loss.

I grieve the generosity of this

good dog.

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