The Shot



© 2006 Katherine Williams
"The Shot" appears in
Southern Poetry Anthology:
South Carolina

Houston:  Texas Review Press (2007)
The puppy I just watched get run over and I go check the garden to see if the lettuce has sprouted yet. She sniffs at the dirt and says “Nope, another day or two.” We grab one end of a stick and Louie chomps the other for tug-o-war. With the puppy who lit out from under the vintage Indian bike on a crushed leg, I go check the mail. No mail. She runs circles around me back towards my house. At her house there’s nobody home. She is at the shelter getting morphine and her squashed belly assessed at the clinic, and starts digging a hole near my trash can. I ask her if she is scared or lonely at the vet’s, and she says to throw her the ball. She says to let her in bed with me, because there’s snow on the ground. She laps up a big drink of water with her fast little tongue and wonders if the guy on the bike is okay. “Well, he’s pretty mad but he’ll get over it. Some scrape on his helmet,” I tell her, “You don’t mess around.” We sit on the sofa watching Making It Grow. I rub her face, so ugly it’s cute. She says she’s just got to chase bikes, it’s a genetic thing. At the shelter the vet gives her the shot. As I pull new weeds out of the garden I hold her in my lap, gently, because she’s so badly damaged. Drowsy, she licks the earthy sweat of my hand.