My stepfather’s dog, blind, races across the yard,
counting his steps to the fence, veering away
seconds before collision. Even if he can’t see
or catch squirrels, he is there, immersed in memory,
knowing one afternoon he could get lucky,
stumbling on his prey, pinning the small animal,
sinking his teeth into the flesh below its head,
swinging its body’s pendulum, breaking its neck.

My stepfather questions nurses, curses attendants
and my mother, who cares for him alone, while
working his muscles, his legs and arms, grasping
canes and walkers and through brute will commands
his body to inhabit the same space as before, no longer
aware of reason or capable of restraint — ready.