With each autumn leaf that strips bare our backyard treeGrey whiskers sprout around your muzzle.
And appear in your brows and on your chin.
The passing years bleach the colour from your noble face,
But noble you remain.
Your eyes become glassy, but never stop seeking.Your nose, moist as though with morning dew, twitches at the prospect of food;
but your mouth has ceased its childlike wolfing.
Every cold draft that escapes through the door chills your bones
Frailer bones, beneath thinning coat.
You’ve found a filtering of winter sun and here you will lie
While hands, feet and mouths in motion all around you,
Belly up, drowsy jowls rimmed with pearly canines that, in your youth,
Flared at unsuspecting strangers.
My liege, you have watched over me with quiet grace.
Stern and gentle and kind of face.